Wednesday, 10 August 2022

The Welsh Book Crawl

 I've been wanting to take part in the Big London Book Crawl for some time, but never managed to get a trip to the city co-ordinated on the right weekend. And then came Covid. But then last weekend the Book Crawl came to  me. Bookshops all over Wales took part from Friday to Sunday offering all sorts of treats and discounts and on Saturday afternoon I joined a small group for an organised walk around Cardiff. Ably led by Rhys we toured six locations, including several I would not have discovered on my own. Of course I bought books, but forgot the camera to take photos! 

First stop was Troutmark Books in the Castle Arcade. I have been there before, but many years ago. It's an amazing rabbit warren. Next, in complete contrast, the very sleek and modern Oxfam Shop in St Mary's Street. Then the book stall  in the Cardiff Market, where several of the party succumbed to the lure of an adjacent stall selling Welsh cakes.  

Then it was out to Canton on the bus - my first bus trip since pre -Covid. Glad to find my bus pass still works.  We visited Shelf Life - a non profit radical bookshop specialising in marginalised and underrepresented voices, Caban - a Welsh language bookshop and lastly, a real treat "And Penguins" a special pop up shop in the home of a Penguin book collector, where we we were able to browse some fascinating gems over tea and biscuits. 

It was a lovely afternoon, full of fun and surprises in good company. What did I buy? 

Coffee with  Shakespeare - a fictional dialogue by Shakespearean expert Stanley Wells.

A small volume on smugglers in Wales.

Those two are possibly for research.

The Angel of Mons  by David Clarke - an exploration of the strange legend that grew up in the First World War that has fascinated me for years.

A classic Nora Roberts that I haven't read - Blue Smoke 

And my pop up Penguins were all related to my studies for the PhD - a bit of nostalgia. Why War? by philosopher C E M  Joad who was one of the experts who was part of the panel for the radio Brains  Trust, Hitler's War  by Hugh Dalton M P, who served in the war time Cabinet and was Chancellor of the Exchequer after the war. And as light relief, Margery Allingham's Death of a Ghost - an Albert Campion that I hadn't read and am enjoying. These three were war time publications so are quite special. 

I also bought some oat milk chocolate -  which is very good and some cards to add to my stock of not quite birthday cards. 

All in all it was a very good day. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Out and about

 I had a great time with Helga, Laura and Jo at Griffin Books last Friday. Thanks to Mel and her team for putting on a fun event and to everyone who came along. I think they all enjoyed it as much as we did. 


Thanks too to Kath Eastman from the Nut Press for the photo of me in the shop clutching the perfect yellow rose we all got as a leaving gift - sometimes being an author can make you feel really special. And Kath even managed to snap me with my eyes open! 

|It was lovely too to meet fellow Crime Cymru member Chris Lloyd in real rather than virtual life.  Chris is another local author who won the Historical Writers' Association Gold Crown Award and was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Historical  Dagger Award for his Paris set World War II historical crime The Unwanted Dead. 


Having got a taste for gadding about, I'm now going to do it again!!!


 I'm planning a visit to Rhiwbina Beans Coffee Shop as Writer in Residence for the day. You will be welcome to drop in to chat, find out about my books, talk generally about writing and of course you'll have the chance to buy a signed copy for yourself or for a present. 

Rhiwbina Beans is in Heol Llanishen Fach, Cardiff. It's a quirky coffee shop with a 4.5 score on Trip Advisor and a fine line in cake. I'll confirm the date ASAP. It would be great to see you.