Book Week

Sunday nights is when I think about the new week and do the planning and organising for all the things that are upcoming for the week ahead.  Last Sunday night I was tallying up Alfie’s events and working out his schedule.  I realised he had the Zone Athletics Carnival on Monday, his speech due on Tuesday, nothing special Wednesday, Book Week on Thursday and an excursion to the Botanical Gardens on Friday.

I’ve already told you all about the Zone Carnival.  On Tuesday Alfie did his speech.  The students were given a few topics to choose from and Alfie decided to go with, ‘Striving to do your best’.  He had been given weeks to prepare his speech, giving him ample time to do research, write it out and memorise it with just a few words printed on palm cards as prompts.

As you can see, the event wasn't exactly well attended

As you can see, the event wasn’t exactly well attended

Speech urgency struck on the way home from the Athletics Carnival.  He, or was it ‘we’, or possibly ‘I’, wrote it on Bear Grylls.  Alfie had just finished reading Bear’s book, Mud, Sweat and Tears and loved it.  He’s decided that when he grows up he’s going to be the next Bear Grylls.  So ‘he’, or ‘we’ or ‘I’, thought it would be good to do a speech based on Bear’s life because he is obviously someone who always strives to do his best.  Sorted.  Except there wasn’t time to memorise it.  ‘He’, or ‘we’ or ‘I’ had to print it out and cut it into little squares and paste them onto palm cards.  I managed to get to school in time to have a few groveling words with the teacher about how despite all the effort, Alfie hadn’t managed to memorise his speech.

According to Alfie, it went well.

Wednesday was a normal day.

But Thursday!  Thursday was book week.  You had to come to school dressed as your favourite character from a book.  You won’t be at all surprised to hear that Alfie wanted to go as Bear Grylls.  He chose his costume which was some old and tattered clothes that looked like they’d gone the distance with hiking shoes and then he had a length of rope and a compass as props.  I painted his face with Arabella’s very dark brown eye shadow so he looked like he was covered in mud.  I told him he was a striking resemblance to Bear.

You could play quoits where if you managed to get the quoit around the bottle, you could keep it.  Carl and I failed to win a thing but Alfie won a long neck of VB!

You could play quoits where if you managed to get the quoit around the bottle, you could keep it. Carl and I failed to win a thing but Alfie won a long neck of VB!

As we were leaving the house Alfie said to me, ‘Is it really Book Week today?’  And I said, ‘Well yes, there was an email about it’.  And we took a few more steps and some doubts crept in and so I asked, ‘Were they talking about Book Week at school yesterday?’

‘I think so’, replied Alfie but he didn’t sound terribly confident.  And then he said, ‘It would be really embarrassing to get to school and find out everyone else was in uniform’.

I started looking around.  No one!  Not another student in sight.  That’s because we’re always running that little bit late and everyone else is already through the school gates.  So we rounded the corner and there was the school and we could see everyone in lines and it seemed they were all dressed in navy – the colour of the school’s uniform.  Alfie froze.  He didn’t want to go in.  ‘Let’s just go to the office and see what’s happening’, I said.

So the lovely ladies in the office advised that Book Week is next Thursday, not this Thursday and there was Alfie with his rope and his compass and his chocolate covered face.

It’s because a note didn’t come home.  They sent an email and it became buried in my in-box.  So I was working from memory.  Not a good idea.

I was drowning my sorrows

I was drowning my sorrows

I took him home, cleaned him up, found his uniform and back to school we went.  Only now we were so late he couldn’t enter the classroom without a ‘late note’ so we headed straight to the office for that piece of paper.  We bumped into Mrs B, his teacher from last year.  When she heard the story she couldn’t stop laughing and said, ‘I’m so glad nothing’s changed.  I wouldn’t have expected anything else’.  Typecast!  And then the principal walked past and Mrs B said to her, ‘You have to hear this, Alfie came to school today dressed as Bear Grylls for book week’, and I really rather wished we could have kept this just between the three of us.  But no, from the top-down, everyone at the local school has now heard about Alfie and Bear Grylls.

But we are super-organised for next Thursday.  Alfie’s costume and props are on the end of his bed, waiting.  And we’ve already had a trial run.  Fortunate!

Mini ham and pineapple pizzas

Rather ordinary mini ham and pineapple pizzas

I’ve had a shocker of a week with all sorts of curve balls so there’s no recipe but I do have a few images of a rather (very) disappointing event Carl dragged me to.  When will he learn to say ‘no’?  As you can see, we were about the only people to turn up.  It was to raise money for a charity.

I promise to post some photos of Book Week, after next Thursday!

If you liked this post, you’re welcome to share it.


  1. Every week is book week for me. 🙂

  2. Seems a lot of us have had curve balls flung at us this week. I even encountered a friend’s delightful error; ‘curb balls’ during the week. Had a good chuckle; laughter is, after all, the best medicine. Good on Alfie for his original choice of costume, early or not.

  3. Poor Alfie. Sounds like something that would happen to one of my kids..

  4. We’ve all done that. I’ve turned up a week in advance for things and been late because I relied on my memory. Funny story and thanks for sharing in your normal, fun life.

  5. Oh, how I remember those projects. I was kind of glad when the kids were out of elementary school and didn’t need help anymore on projects.

  6. Poor Alfie. But at least he has picked a great topic and an interesting man (am sure the book is as interesting as his tv shows, which we even can watch–my son loves them and he’s 23). Sounds like life is normal to me.

  7. Oh, dear, some days are like that, even in Australia:) (my favorite children’s book on the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day).. but all is not lost.. I would love a few of those mini pizzas.. and especially a good glass of wine to wash all of that down with!

  8. Alfie is blessed to have you for his mother and you’re blessed to have him for your son. I love reading about your life, Charlie.

  9. You certainly have quite a hectic schedule. I’d forgotten all the events you have to control when they’re younger. I did something similar when one of the Glam Teens was younger, only he turned up to school in uniform when everyone else was in civvies. Apparently – a BIG faux pas. GG

  10. I am glad I am not the only Mom who keeps mixing up dates and forgets which day is what…..for me email works better because my boys never seem to bring anything home.

  11. I’m pretty sure that when I was in primary school, Book Week was, you know, a WEEK, not a day… and it was one of my favourite weeks of the year. I remember dressing up as Laura Ingalls Wilder, as the Babysitters Club with my friends… I WANT TO DO IT NOW AS AN ADULT.

  12. I had my share of mixed up dates and events when my kids were in elementary school. Embarrassing at the time, but now that they are adults, we look back and have good laughs.

  13. Too bad more folks didn’t show up for the charity event. =(

  14. There are so many things going on in your life that the occasional missed email is to be expected. I’m glad that Alfie got to do a dress rehearsal for Book Week. Shame about the charity event attendance or lack thereof.

  15. I love the flower photo with the droplets!

  16. Ah, book week! I had forgotten about that primary school tradition. I think you’re very organised giving Alfie a trial run for his costume, especially so soon after The Speech 🙂

  17. Well at least you worked it out and didn’t just drop him at school and leave! Really I’m just impressed that you’re so organised you have it all ready a week in advance!

  18. G’day Charlie and thanks for making me feel more normal in not always getting dates straight, true!
    Good on Alfie for always going with the flow too!
    MANY years ago, my mum used permanent magic marker on my face to dress me up as a clown for Halloween, true!
    Had to go to school for almost 2 weeks STILL looking like the clown that won all the contests that year at parties too! lol

  19. This is just too funny! I can imagine the sinking feeling when you both realized you had the wrong date in mind! Alfie is a resilient boy…you’ve taught him well! Things happen. Good luck next week. oxo

  20. Let me tell you, Mrs B has let the WHOLE WORLD know this very funny anecdote. It’s my new dinner party story (even when there is no dinner party).
    As my husband says – I’m not laughing with you, I’m laughing at you!!! (It’s really just a sense of relief that it’s you and not me). Don’t ever, ever change, Charlie!

  21. We were reminiscing about Book Week just last night. In particular, the year I actually went to some trouble, made a red velvet cape and sent my youngest to school as Red Riding Hood, complete with our huge, grey wolfhound to stand in as the wolf. Instant hit and obvious first prize winner – the only time we ever were, though.

  22. Haha I used to be terrified of giving speeches as a kid – in fact, I still am!

  23. Aww poor Alfie! And poor you! All that stress over a costume for nothing!

  24. Turning up for school in fancy dress on the wrong day was something I was always afraid of as a child. As a result, I was always super organised and knew exactly when we were having fancy dress/mufti days! Alfie sounds like he took it all in his stride though 🙂

  25. I don’t have kids, yet but the effort you go to for your children is admirable! Alfie has great taste btw, dressing up as Bear Grylls is very impressive 🙂

  26. Well, at least Alfie laid claim to Bear Grylis. No one will be able to say that Alfie stole the idea. Alfie not only had it first, he had it a week early! Can’t wait to see the photos. 🙂

  27. Every time I attend an event, I have that moment of wondering if I’m arriving on the right day at the right time. So glad I’m not alone in that!

  28. LOL…so glad Alfie is set for next week 🙂

  29. Aww that was such a cute and funny story! And I bet everyone will be dying to see Alfie’s Bear Grylls next week! 😀 Clearly you guys are professionals and you were just doing a practice run!

  30. Great story! Alfie will make an excellent Bear Grylls with all that practice!

  31. Oh poor you and Alfie, but at least he got to do a trial run on his costume, I bet he’s going to really rock it next week. Hope this week goes smoother.

  32. HEHE!!! This sounds like my house!
    We did book week too and I got 1 days notice… thankfully it was on, I wasn’t convinced until I saw other kids in costumes 🙂

  33. Thank goodness Alfie had the presence of mind to double check instead of leaving it to chance like his Mother! There are so many events to juggle with kids that trying to keep track can certainly be tricky Charlie. Last week was the official opening of a new building at littlej’s school, and a big hoorah was made of inviting parents etc. to the special breakfast and schoolastic exhibition. Needless to say it was even less attended than your charity evening, and my breakfast was a not-for-me greasy sausage in bread. A few books open on desks was the extent of the proud scholastic exhibition and littlej was actually embarrassed to have asked me along :\ I think you had the better event- at least you got a beer out of it! xox

  34. Wow, a week of ups and downs. Hope next week goes better. At least Alfie will be well prepared.

  35. Your shocker weeks are always so entertaining from afar but I do feel for you. Your life never has a dull moment.

  36. That’s too bad that there weren’t a lot of people, even that it was for charity!:(!

  37. Aww Poor Alfie he must’ve been so embarassed but it’s not your fault either because I’m sure you get hundreds of emails a day and the school should have known better to not just send one notice sheet but a few! But look on the bright side like you said 🙂 At least you will be prepared for next week xox

  38. Super organised. That’s never any good for me something always happens at the last minute! Can’t wait to see how next Thursday goes.

  39. I remember Book Week from when I was a kid – I really loved it! I think I went as ‘bad-ass’ little red riding hood (I remember wearing black sunglasses, so in the 90’s, that was really ‘bad-ass’ to me anyway) haha. Bear Grylls is a pretty awesome character to go as!

  40. And the good is – you’re all ready for next week! 🙂 Great story!

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