Let’s just, for a moment, overlook the fact that Grandpa, in that classic first make of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, is not the one who has won the golden ticket.
In fact, the ticket winner is little Charlie. Cheer-up Charlie. Charlie, against whom the odds were stacked so high they must surely have crushed him. Charlie, who stood for honest-to-goodness integrity in the face of gluttony, avarice and greed. Whilst others got their parents and promoters to spend outrageous sums for the one thing they could not have automatically, Charlie relied on fate to bring the golden ticket to him.
But we all join Grandpa in being elated. In incredulity that finally, just perhaps, the tide of unfortunate events might be about to change.
And of course, for Grandpa, and for Charlie, life was about to alter forever.
This does not happen in real life.
But I have, nevertheless, got a Golden Ticket. A chance. But to have any chance of getting into Mr Wonka’s factory, I need your help.
Penguin Books: iconic publishing house whose small bird graces all the best bookshelves. Penguin: launched in 1935, and built on the ideal of selling low-cost books, en masse, to a literature-guzzling public.
They are dear to our hearts. And this Summer, Penguin published The Old Ways, by Robert MacFarlane; a hypnotic journey along some of Britain’s trackways, related in prose that lilts.
And to celebrate the publication, Penguin has run a competition. They want a Penguin Wayfarer: someone to walk Britain during the Summer, chronicling the journey, talking about paths old and new, exploring the stories and myths that surround them. The Wayfarer will share in writing, in film, and in tweets.
I know, I know.
So of course I used my last dollar to buy a chocolate bar. And as luck would have it, I made it to the final 20.
But now the hard work starts. Because Charlie never had to pass a popularity contest; but I do. There are 20 possible wayfarers, and I am one of them. You have never seen me before, or heard my everyday name, but if I am to have any hope of striding up and down Britain with two kids and a dog during the Summer, and broadcasting on behalf of Penguin (May their name live forever) we’re going to have to move a few boundaries.
The Wayfarer page is here: I am the only Kate on the page.
I wonder if you might consider voting for me?