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All the fun of the fair

All the fun of the fair

Against all predicted odds, books are still going strong. Screens haven’t yet killed them off. And it was a pleasure to attend two bustling book fairs in Norwich recently, where A Very Simple Secret was promoted alongside dozens of other new publications. Norwich is a...

A Very Simple Secret is now official

A Very Simple Secret is now official

Two book events last week, one in London, another in Norfolk, declared A Very Simple Secret officially out there in the public domain. The book's already doing its job, attracting comment about mid-20th century childhoods, ideologies, crisis response, parenting...

Half an hour in Spain

Half an hour in Spain

On a grey morning in North Norfolk last week, as the wind howled down the chimney and heavy rain splashed the windows, I made a fleeting visit to Marbella. OK, the trip merely involved the click of a Zoom link. But it was still refreshing to ‘land’ suddenly in a...

Time For Transmission – My Book’s Out!

Time For Transmission – My Book’s Out!

Back in the day, in the 1980s, the UK only had four TV channels, and if your VHS recorder wasn’t working you only had one chance to watch a programme. iPlayer or All-4 were unheard of, and ‘streaming’ meant you had a bad cold. So when a programme you’d worked on was...

Crying Out – But Who’s Listening?

Crying Out – But Who’s Listening?

It felt like a rare glimpse of humanity speaking with one voice. Thousands of people, of all cultures and hues, from all over the UK and the world. Old folk and babies, grunge- and Hunter welly-wearers, the silent and the vocal. The event was the last London peace...

The Story Of Edward, The Cover Bear

The Story Of Edward, The Cover Bear

There’s a reason that the teddy on my new book cover is actually a photo of my very own Edward Bear, given to me as a baby. And that’s simply because no other bear would do. The bears on offer for the first cover draft just didn’t feel right. Styles have changed since...

An Irish National Treasure

An Irish National Treasure

Is it possible to feel an affinity with a place or community that you’ve never lived in or known? Thanks to meeting the remarkable Irish author Alice Taylor this year, I rather think it is. Alice lives in the village of Innishannon, County Cork, where several...

Invincible Light

Invincible Light

Here in the Norfolk countryside over Christmas, miles from the nearest shop or street lamp, a few seasonal lights along the lane are defying the dark nights. A neighbour has opted for the full Hallelujah Chorus of brilliance. He’s festooned his house, trees and shed...