Literary Pop: World Book Day

Happy World Book Day!

When I was in Year 6 at school (aged 10 or 11) we had a “dress up as your favourite literary character” day.  I have no recollection of this being for World Book Day, but in retrospect it probably was.

Me, basically.

I went as Legolas from the Lord of the Rings, which at the time was probably my favourite book series and definitely my favourite film series (this would have been 2002-3ish).  With my parents’ help (mostly my mother I seem to recall, although she would have had zero interest in LotR) I pulled together an amazing costume featuring lots of Elven components (I don’t remember completely, but there was definitely a verdant velvety cape held on with a leafy brooch, some leather trousers, and I believe a green corduroy waistcoat).  I was pretty much perfect except for a wig, which would need to be bought new and would cost more than the rest of the charity-shop-sourced costume put together.  I even had a bow and arrow set I’d conveniently picked up some weeks earlier at Leeds Castle in Kent (nowhere near Leeds) – naturally a result of the same Legolas admiration.

When I got to school after weeks of preparation it was clear I was completely overdressed and nobody was really that bothered.  Philistines.  I didn’t care, I looked fabulous.  Needless to say I didn’t win the coveted “best costume” award – it went to some teacher’s favourite who didn’t put in a tenth of the effort I had, while the so-called judge didn’t come within fifty feet of me all day.  In fact, I spent most of the afternoon sitting on my own in the corner of the classroom as punishment for firing my wooden (sucker-tipped) arrows across the crowded room (which looking back was clearly overcompensation for bad supervision – what did the teacher think I was going to do if she left them in my possession?).

All in all, a pretty big disappointment on the day.  But digging the memories up today, I remember it fondly.  I’m still proud of that costume, god dammit.  I did a good job (and so did my mother, who was at a tough point in her own life).   My LotR nerdiness continues to this day – I should really read those books again some time.

So the moral of the story?  Don’t let them grind you down, kids.  If they don’t like/notice/appreciate your effort, it’s probably because they don’t understand.  And that’s their problem, not yours.


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