Saturday, August 12, 2017

Book deliveries

    Sometimes there are no book deliveries to this house - and other times, there are more deliveries than we can cope with! This week has been sort of average - but most of the book boxes have been for the Babe Magnet who seems to have half a dozen new titles publishing in the next couple of months, So we have Write Your Self which arrived this week. I
    love this cover.
    And talking of covers - there's this translation of one of my more recent titles - but it's a little worrying! The Translated title is Mork, Vacker, Mystik. Now in Yorkshire that 'mork' is not a flattering description! In the slang dictionary too, it's defined this way:
    mork n. someone who is completely witless. a low level nincompoop who rarely sees things in perspective.😮🙄
    Not sure that's how I'd describe my hero - if it is the hero they' mean!
    Anyone able to tell me how this title actually translates into English? If you can and you'd like the spare copy of this translation - please post and let me know!






Tuesday, August 08, 2017

One of the best parts of summer.

As you probably already know, I spent a  fabulous week in  July at Writers Holiday in Fishguard. Yes,
I was teaching a course - and so was my husband - but there is so much more to Fishguard than the teaching and the courses, there's the friendship, the laughter, the after-dinner speakers, the food, the massages (yes - we have a lovely lady who gives fabulous back and shoulder massages - just what you need after a day's teaching!) the music - the Cwmbach Male Choir - perhaps a little bit of wine - the conversations, the new friends,. . the husbands.  (yes husbandS)

Sadly, this summer's event was the last on in Fishguard in July - though, thankfully, the February Writing Weekends are still continuing - thank heaven or I'd pine away completely.

One of the unexpected delights of teaching with Gerald P Hobbs Writers' Holiday every year is that some years back I unexpectedly acquired another 'husband' !😉😮 (It's a long story - and a case of mistaken identity!) Interestingly both husbands have the initials SW - Stephen Wade and Simon Whaley. Not only is Simon (Husband 2) great company and an inspiring teacher, he's also a very talented photographer and he's responsible for a wonderful assortment of photos of the last night of the last summer holiday at Fishguard (sob!😪 )  - if you can see them on his Facebook page

So many times I'm asked why I travel all that way to Wales for this week in the summer - and again in February - well, take a look at these photos of that last night - the friendship, warmth, affection and sheer family atmosphere of Gerald P Hobbs Writers' Holiday shines out of them. More than worth a few (OK - a lot) of hours' driving, and besides that I get to spend a week by the sea with a whole group of friends. I'm only sorry I won't be doing that next summer - but there will be February 2018 (and Husband 2 is teaching a course there.)

Behind every great event there has to be someone who has worked tirelessly and non-stop to make it right. In the case of Writers'Holiday - those people are Gerald  Hobbs and his lovely wife Anne. This photo will be special to so many  Writers' Holiday visitors, past and present. over the 32 years they have been running this lovely event. You arrive as a stranger, not knowing anyone, and leave as a member of a warm and welcoming family. I should know, the Babe Magnet and I have been part of that family for well over half the time it's been in existence. Without Anne and Gerry planning Writers' Holiday and making sure it was one of the most giving and welcoming writers' events in the country, I'd never have enjoyed some of the most special times of my life. (And as I said   it has to be special to make it worth making the l-o-n-g journey from
Lincolnshire to Wales twice a year)


I (and many many others) am so sad that the summer event has now become unworkable - but there are still the February Weekends, and the Babe Magnet and I will be there as long as we can manage it. Caerleon/Fishguard regulars will know that this is a rare photo - getting Gerry centre stage has been a near-impossibility over the years. We managed it once on the 25th anniversary and now, thankfully, managed it again for this special bittersweet evening.
(and thank you Husband2 for the photo)


To Anne and Gerry - from all the Fishguard regulars - so many thanks for all you've done over the years, and thank goodness you're carrying on with the February weekends or I think we'd all pine away without you and all the friends you've helped us make over the year.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

A Special Memory

More years ago than I care to reckon up,  as a barely 10 year old,  my mother allowed me to spend Sundays watching TV. This was a rare occurrence because as far as my mother was concerned, Sundays were for going to mass, eating Sunday lunch, going for a long walk,  tea, a bath, washing my hair  - and bed.  TV did not figure in that timetable at all.

But this was different - this was the BBC's production of Shakespeare's history plays  in one long sequence - 15 episodes.  I watched the first  and was lost. For all those 15 episodes, my mother and I shared this experience and I was totally engrossed in the drama, the language, the acting.  It was only years later that I realised how much I had absorbed of Shakespeare's power - and how many of the stage and screen's later great actors I had watched on that rather blurry black and white screen.

One of those actors I have always remembered - have never been able to forget  - was the man who played Henry V - and that was Robert Hardy.   Later he became well known as Siegfried in    James Herriot's  All Creatures Great and Small.  He played  Churchill several times and  was known to a new and wider audience when he appeared as Cornelius Fudge in Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix.   But to me he was always the very first Prince Hal I'd every seen - dynamic  and powerful and, in spite of a strange 'pudding basin' haircut, mesmerising and unforgettable.

So I was truly sad to learn today that Robert Hardy has died at the age of 91. Such important memories went with him. And he will always be Prince Hal to me.

RIP Robert Hardy.
 

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