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I know you’re all winding down for Christmas, fretting about turkeys and plum puddings, and you’ll not have much time for my drivellings. I’ll keep this short.

I’m sometimes accused of being cynical. That may come as a surprise to you, but it does happen. To offset this, I’m now going to show you my softer side. I do have one, honest.

I want to tell you about Mrs Parkinson. I have profound admiration and respect for her. I hold her in great esteem and with huge affection. She’s one of the best people in the world. I’m not exaggerating. She’s amazing, truly inspirational. I want to give her a big hug.

I’ve never met her.

I buy nearly all my books second hand. I bought one a little while ago, and in it I found a bookmark. It had a cartoon of a bright orange, four-eyed, horned monster on it. There was also a handwritten note. I’ve kept the spacing, because it reads like a poem.

To Harry,

Have a lovely


Good luck

in Year 3.

Love from

Mrs Parkinson.


P.S. Keep reading!

Now if that doesn’t make you fill up, you’re a much harder person than I am.