Monday 17 November 2008

Fabulous Weekend

What a weekend! I’m still buzzing.
First of all, there was the drive to North Wales. What a fantastic drive anyway, one that I always love. The way you follow the coast and then the drama the mountains coming down to the sea. I did my usual trick of allowing an extra half hour for every hour I had to travel. The journey went well and I arrived an hour before I needed to be there.
I went in search of my cousin. Well, actually, she’s the wife of my second cousin. But she ahs bought and renovated a café in the middle of Bangor. Blue Sky. It’s gorgeous. We had a chat. And it’s already running along the lines of the Creative Café. They’ve had a Poetry Wales meeting there. And the novel-writers group meet there for breakfast.
I then met up with the others who were in the Fat Cat, excited as can be. I’ve edited and published the book, Making Changes, in which three writers form North Wales feature: Debz Hobbs-Wyatt, Jean Lyons and Phil Thomas.
We made our way to the Museum and Art Gallery. It is really a nice space for a book launch or reading. The lighting is great. There’s a good atmosphere with all that art work around.
I somehow managed to end up being the one who sold the books. The entire stock went and I’ve had to order another 17 to fulfil preorders. The curator counted 53 people arriving and then was distracted. I think it may have been about 65. Two of my former colleagues for NIECI and it was good to chat to them.
The readings went well and those who hadn’t bought a book on the way in, certainly bought one on the way out. We hooked them. The readings were great, but I’ve a few ideas about how to make them even greater.
The catering worked well. The three writers paid £15.00 each and that bought wine and nibbles and various members of their writing group brought along home made cake. Delicicous!
Debz and I then went back to her place, taking one of the four bottles of wine left over – there had been twelve altogether. We chatted into the small hours and drank the wine.
The next day, we were back at the Blue Sky café. Novelist’s critique breakfast – in my cousin’s café. This is really living the dream. It was good to chat about their work and writing in general.
I had to go home eventually, but only so that I could go out again to get to the evening session at the NAWE conference in Manchester. Interesting journey through the middle of town on a Saturday night and then along the crowded Oxford Road and the Curry Mile. Then the place was hard to find. No matter, though. The speaker had the same problem. But it was all good in the end. It was good to catch up with some old friends, not least of all my former PH D supervisor, Graeme Harper.
Sunday was a choir day. We, the Ordsall Singers, an a cappella group, sang in the Salford museum where a lot of local groups were exhibiting. I found a writing group and chatted to the people from the Imperial War Museum North. But the singing. I think we did well. It was such fun. Well, it normally is. But we sang in the part of the museum which has been made into an old street. Such an atmosphere. I think we did well. Well, we have a good MD and a few good singers. And we sang three lots of twenty minutes. That felt great, but I had a sore throat afterwards.
What a wonderful weekend!

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