With the frustrations caused by the horrendous winter weather reaching a peak this week, a welcome dose of fantasy was due to reach schools throughout Scotland yesterday.
Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, was to host a live internet broadcast from London as part of a Scottish Book Trust programme which allows pupils to quiz famous writers.
Meet Our Authors, described by organisers as the first programme of its type in the UK, is streamed live over the internet. Anyone can watch and it is free.
Mr Pullman was signed up to read excerpts from, and speak about, Clockwork, The Firework-Maker's Daughter, I Was a Rat and The Scarecrow and His Servant, stories which have just recently been republished in one volume.
He also planned to talk to P4-S2 pupils about his books being adapted for the cinema and show clips from The Golden Compass, the 2008 film version of Northern Lights, the first part of the His Dark Materials trilogy.
Mr Pullman is the fifth writer to take part in Meet Our Authors, which began in March this year with former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen speaking to pupils from BBC Scotland's Glasgow headquarters.
Other events have involved author of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson, and another Children's Laureate, Michael Morpurgo. More than 250,000 children have taken part in the webcasts.
Jasmine Fassl, of the Scottish Book Trust, says: "What's really special about these events is that any pupil can watch. It doesn't matter if they live in a very remote place, or if their school can't afford transport to an event - it is about breaking down traditional barriers."
Meet the Authors is sponsored by Scottish Friendly Assurance. Live events are funded by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council Inspiring Communities Fund.