Last week I had the opportunity of meeting Judith Kerr. She’s an awesome individual.
This is a 90 year-old, whose still hustling. WTF? She’s an amazing illustrator and children’s story book writer, who wrote and illustrated ‘mog’ and ‘the tiger who came to tea’ among other famous listings; and has recently released her latest book called ‘creatures’ which is a chronicle of her life in words and pictures – it’s absolutely EPIC!
I was so excited to meet her during her ‘Conversation with Judith Kerr’ night at Dulwich College, I nearly missed the whole event as my brain totally lost its way for nearly 30 minutes while finding my way to Dulwich. I’ve been there countless times, and my brother lives virtually around the corner from the venue, and yet that evening, because of all the excitement, I decided to have a brain lapse at Oxford Circus tube station. After leaving work late, and I just decided to proceed to jump on any and every train to any and every direction but the right one. I had a totally crazy fight with myself getting nowhere – fast.
When I did sort my stupid self out, and eventually got to North Dulwich, if it wasn’t for the kindness of a man taking pity on me after I was looking desperate, dishevelled and stressed out, I wouldn’t of made it. He followed me most of the way (ironically his wife and kid were at the event that evening too), and it took more than 20 minutes from the station to get there – walking faster than Usain Bolt could run the 100 meters!
20 minutes late, and I made it. However, aside from the sweaty, and stressed-out vibe I was spurning out to everyone, I managed to get her book before entering the event, grab a seat, and then listened with a big grin on my face, like a cheshire cat. I have to tell you though that most of it, I couldn’t understand a word she was saying. The mike was so close to her mouth, I swear, she sounded just like Charlie Brown’s school teacher – muffle, muffle, mwaah, mwaah, mwaah, with the odd sentence coming out perfectly. But I didn’t care. I was there, and I was able to see a true legend in the flesh – that’s all I cared about.
I then managed to catch her at the end, while everyone else were scrambling to buy her books. She was so cool, calm and collected it was just awesome. She was happily chatting to people in such a polite and charismatic fashion, and all I could do was be up-close-and-persnal, and just stare at her, like a zombie from The Walking Dead. I couldn’t believe that this 90 (soon to be 91 in June) year-old woman was still doing what she loves! She’s still writing books, and illustrating fantastic characters.
She’s given me inspiration. Damn it, I want to work way past my ’90s like her – I want to do what I love. She’s a total inspiration…this chick rocks!
Oh, when I eventually left the event, I decided to have another brain lapse by taking the wrong turning, and ended up at West Dulwich train station, which happened to be 5 minutes away from Dulwich Colleqe. I’d lost it by then…I could of taken this blasted line from Victoria station : a 5 minute tube stop from Oxford Circus. I had wasted all that frigging drama earlier for nothing. Go figure…