Chris Riddell hands over the children’s laureateship to someone else mid-week. Here he explains the daily rhythm of life that he will be able to return to, and an anxiety dream that accompanies it:
In my anxiety dream, the man from the ministry knocks on my studio door and produces an official looking document. “It is time to stop this mucking about,” he informs me, “and get a real job.” In fact, on a normal day, I wake early, pad downstairs and have a cup of tea listening to the Today programme and shouting impotently at the radio. Several cups of coffee later my wife will find me reading the Guardian at the kitchen table, and suggest that I “get on with some work”. I then open the kitchen door and walk down my garden path before realising that I’m still in my dressing gown. I then go back inside, get dressed, have another cup of coffee and finish reading the Guardian. It is serious work and someone has to do it. Many emails, phone calls, tweets and Instagram posts later I walk down the garden path for a second time and disappear into the bushes. I sometimes wonder what the neighbours in the flats next door imagine I’m doing.Sign up for the Bookmarks email Read moreMy studio is a converted coach house and completely screened from view at the bottom of the garden. At the end of the day I often glimpse curtains twitching on my return and once my daughter’s friends, visiting from university, screamed as I stepped unexpectedly from the bushes. “Oh, that’s just my dad,” Katy told them insouciantly by way of an explanation. What I actually do at the bottom of my garden is sit at my desk drawing imaginary characters, making up stories and turning them into children’s books. It is so hugely enjoyable that is seldom feels like actual work, hence my anxiety dream.