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well done, good and faithful pirate hat

I now have my very own excellent pirate hat, thanks to my parents and fab photographer Ms Visioluxus from Portland, Oregon. (She took the photo you see on this version of China Miéville's Kraken). So I this week I was able to send back the marvelous hat that Geraldine McCaughrean had lent me, so she can use it for her Peter Pan in Scarlet events. Here's a picture I drew for her, aboard my ship:



Besides that fab hat, Geraldine also has the most amazing Captain Hook coat, you really must go to one of her events sometime and see it. Here, you can catch the briefest glimpse of it through the woods:



Thanks so much, Geraldine! That hat has seen some real mileage, and the new one will be seeing more, at the Hay Festival in Wales, Ireland's Mountains to Sea festival (schools bookings have just opened for that), Birmingham's Book Bash festival and more.

Geraldine's one of the best wordsmiths on the planet; if you haven't read any of her books yet (what?!), I recommend The White Darkness, about a girl who's kidnapped by her uncle and taken to Antarctica. That's the first book I read, and then I was totally hooked. And just for adults, her book Vainglory is incredible, a story about the five generations of people who live in a chateau in 15th century France. Every single chapter had a story so intense, and often very twisted, that several of them gave me quite vivid nightmares, and I spent ages thinking about all the characters, and wondering what I'd do in their situations. Go out and get one of Geraldine's books now (she's written well over a hundred, so you have lots of choices); I promise you'll be glad you did.