A most unwise occurence has come to pass.
I've been asked to take up a position of responsibilty. Now, I know what you're thinking - what blundering buffoons would commit such a basic strategic error?
But I'm rather proud they have. Because it's turned into a hugely fulfilling experience.
What I was asked to do is this - to become a judge in a youngsters' storywriting competition. But not just any contest. This was the excellent idea of asking the children to demonstrate "Extreme Imagination".
I always get a little awkward about being asked to judge anything. I know how much work goes in, how much heart and soul - be it writing, or painting, or whatever - and to sit there and choose whose efforts are the best can make a man feel ruthless and heartless, emotions which I don't care for.
However! I did it because of my commitment to trying to get young people more interested in the wonderful world of books, writing and storytelling. And I'm very glad I did.
The efforts I judged were simply wonderful. There was a great range of some of the most extreme of imagination on offer. I was hugely impressed.
But what perhaps surprised me the most was that an obvious winner jumped out at me. I can't say any more here as the victor doesn't know yet, but it was a quite stunning piece of work (and that in just a few hundred words.)
Not just because of the extremes of imagination, but also the sharpness of the social commentary. It was a real acidic poke in the eye for one of the obsessions of our times - and that from someone so young.
The judging was a great pleasure, and I'm looking forward to meeting the winner, and the runners up, tomorrow.
I rarely do plugs here, but on this occasion it's worth indulging. The event is at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) in Exeter, tomorrow (Saturday, 16th Feb) at 5.30pm, for a couple of hours.
If you can come along, I'd thoroughly recommend it. I'm confident you'll find the Extremes of imagination you'll hear as delighting and uplifting and I did.