Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Continental travels

Well, a busy day ahead...students all day-some of whom are almost finished and then a meeting re future students. Quick dash back home to pick up case and off to airport hotel for an early start-7-30am flight to Marco Polo airport Venice! Hopefully my cousin Lidia will meet me and then off to Vas. Friday is the big day...being interviewed by students who have read Out of Time. And this is where I am embarrassed...they will be interviewing me in English...while I have no Italian to speak of! We are so lazy as linguist in the UK and I feel ashamed that my linguistic knowledge won't stretch beyond Ciao and grazie.I am always embarrassed to speak in a foreign language..even French which I seem to understand reasonably well. I remember when we were trying to find the Pas de Calais cemetery sending Harry into a garage with a note to read out and was mortified when he came back and said they didn't know what I was on about!

By the way we did very well at the Tea Party on Saturday...serving about 60 afternoon teas and making about £400...not bad for two hours.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Getting jittery

Tea Party for Dystonia tomorrow at St Pauls Church hall at 2pm, Last event for Awareness week. Lots of friends and supporters helping us, bringing cakes etc-just hope we get the customers. Next big task is getting in everyone's sponsorship from K2B-usually takes some time but worth it in the end.

Then I have to prepare for my trip to Italy on Thursday. My first ever plane journey alone...and I do hate flying! Ah well-its for the greater good! Then my cousins Lidia and John are meeting me at Marco Polo airport and taking me to Vas. Friday I visit the school and meet the pupils...can't wait-though I am embarrassed that I speak NO Italian! I will take lots of pics to put on the website etc.

I took receipt of 400 copies of Out of Time today...storage was expensive so I hope to save on that. I need a definite marketing strategy...I don't seem very good at getting lots of bookings-they kind of come in a bit erratically. I hate phoning up-I need a social secretary or PA I think! I am going to address  this when I return and get stuck into the phone calls. I know the book is good(still hate this sort of self proclamation)but the problem is if people don't know about it they won't buy it...so need to develop a better strategy! Saatchi and Saatchi maybe> Fans/friends/readers...you can do your part-tell everyone you know, re-tweet me, like my page, follow my blog and visit the Youtube video...please?

Local note-bit concerned over the proposed biomass plant. Unsure what it means...the antis are saying its certain death and destruction the pros are saying its good for the economy and the local area..but what are the real facts? Answers on a postcard please! I want real scientific facts which a re rigorous and valid...but will we have that sort of transparency before the damned thing is built? I doubt it...after all it's only Barrow...you know that chav town at the end of the longest cul-de-sac in the world?

Ooh! Almost forgot...Raven's Hoard due out on 1 November 2012...preview synopsis on Troubador website as we speak!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Three of the intrepid Dystonia team
Well it's Wednesday and I am still recovering a bit from the after effects of the Keswick to Barrow Walk...a sprain and shin splints and I don't even remember hurting myself! However it was a very good day! A fantastic day weather-wise and as usual a feel good day too. Lots of people turned out for lots of charities and causes, including 5 dystonia teams and one for Bluebirds Study Centre. There will be pictures on the K2B website and in the NW Evening Mail soon which captures the essence of the day. We will hopefully raise a substantial amount for our charity and will have raised awareness too.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Headaches and sore feet

Final sorting out of the teams for the Keswick to Barrow Walk-it has been a nightmare to be honest! Quite a headache!People changing their minds, pulling out, adding in, needing bus seats, I feel quite dizzy with it all. But then organising nearly 70 people was never gonna be easy! 5 teams for Dystonia and one for Bluebirds Study Centre-So Friday-I give out tags, t shirts and bus tickets and then we are sorted! Our bus leaves promptly at 4am Saturday morning and we should be tagging through the barriers at 5-30-ish at Keswick. Weather forecast looks ok-maybe a little shower in the afternoon-but hey we've had worse!

So back to the preparations-buying copious amounts of water, compede and snacks for the support cars-and then there's Sarah and Wendy's Snack Shop which provides out bacon and sausage butties at Dunmail Raise. So I will blog on Sunday when I'm nursing my sore feet (hope not) an will have photos of the action along the way. Oh and I am still available to sponsor on the link below-go on you know you want to!!!

Friday, 4 May 2012


Put out some erroneous information yesterday...and don't know where I got it from...the Dock Museum are not showing the hoard this weekend...I  must have been confused with the abbey finds etc...so sorry about that! Saying that-still go down and have a look-its a great museum and lots to see.

However, I have just seen the brilliant crosier and ring! Amazing and it was great to see the abbey so busy! I was very impressed with it all-beautiful...a bit smaller than I had expected, but fantastic never the less! Get yourselves down there to see it-well worth the trip!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Abbey treasure, hoards, signings and walks

At signing at Preston Waterstones with happy customer
Getting the next few weeks sorted out some kind invitations to do signings for new book "Guy the Grumpy Gargoyle" and "Out of Time" and  more school bookings. Just at the right time because I felt a bit worried that things were stalling somewhat. However I still need to get my marketing strategy right and I recognise this is not my forte! I need a PA -preferably who would do the phoning for love and get me a serious touring calendar  sorted! I know it is crucial and I will have to address it and not keep getting distracted!

Exciting days ahead-we have the viewing of the fantastic abbey finds and the viking hoard (Dock Mseum)...I can't wait and will be at the abbey first thing tomorrow! I will be down there at the Abbey Cafe too-Jackie has kindly agreed to my signing copies of the book in conjunction with the exhibition so hopefully a few visitors from further afield will show an interest!

Some of the Dystonia teams 2011 K2B

However, I will be squeezing in a short practice walk for the Keswick to Barrow walk which is next weekend. Sponsorship has gone well-but if anyone would like to sponsor me do get in touch-I'm walking in aid of dystonia and am in charge of 5 teams this year plus one for Bluebirds Study Centre. So next week expect a blog about the experiences on the day and hopefully pictures too! Its special too because the first walk I did in 2006 was on 12 May-which was my dad's birthday and the first one after we lost him...which made it quite emotional...and its the 12th again this year...so this one is for him (he would be gob smacked at me doing this because I was always very sport and exercise averse much to his disappointment). If you're about next week look out for the lovely green dystonia t shirts and give us a beep or a wave! This week is...