So Where Have I Been & What Have I Been Upto?

And he’s back, though hopefully it will eventually look and feel like I didn’t really go away. However if you have followed this blog for some time you will know Savidge Reads has been on a sort of unofficial hiatus/wind down since mid 2016 but we aren’t going to focus on too much of that. Instead let’s focus on the fact that you have got a whole half a month of Savidge Reads overnight. I like to think of this as my blog version of when Beyonce drops an album overnight out of nowhere. Even more shocking is that I have scheduled the rest of the months blog posts too so I am always a little bit ahead. Who is this new Simon?

Well funny I should mention a new Simon because I do feel like rather a different and new Simon since I last blogged in earnest back in the early days of 2016. So I thought it would be a good idea to catch up properly on what has been going on in the last few years, despite my sporadic reappearances,ha. I am hoping that you will then update me on all of your goings on in the last few months/years in the comments below. So here goes.

New House…

So one of the biggest changes that happened and was sort of one of the reasons that I went quiet, was that I got a new house. After several lovely years in a one bedroom flat it was time to upgrade, mainly to make more space for books, and find somewhere that could be a home that we could keep growing into. You might think I am joking about buying a home to house all the books but it is sort of true. I now have a sitting room brimming with the books I have read and kept as well as my own library which is looking lovely and I will share more of soon. Here is a little teaser at the halfway point.

I found buying a house ridiculously stressful. As soon as we had found this one I just wanted to get it, get in and get cracking. It did not run smoothly and after almost six months of stress we were finally in. Then the joys of decorating and restoring it to its former glory began and it’s been all go since. We are currently in the midst of having the kitchen done which is probably the most chaotic work yet. Just the dining room to finish and one of the spare rooms to do after that and then we will probably want to start all over again.

New Husband…

One of the bits of news that I did keep you updated on was the lovely news that Chris and I got married back in March. It was meant to be in September last year however some family things came up and so we moved it. Little did we know that there would be more drama with the second date with one of my lovely colleagues at Culture dying, my stepdad having a heart attack and needing a quadruple heart bypass – he is doing amazingly, the snow meaning a third of our guests couldn’t make it and the roof falling in on the concert room we were getting married in the day before the whole shebang was meant to happen meaning changing the venue. Blimey! We did it though and have decided that if the wedding was slightly hellish the marriage will be heavenly. Venice afterwards was wonderful and it’s been bliss since, we are even planning little Savidge’s. Chris is now a Savidge and part of the brand, ha. He is actually hosting his first book event in August. He’s reading and everything. Seriously.

New Job…

One of the equally exciting bits of news is that I got a new job at the end of last year which I started in the middle of March. I am now leading on partnerships, sponsorships, events and retail for Liverpool Libraries (all 19 of them) and based in the gorgeous Central Library, which is like my idea of heaven.

It felt very weird walking in on my first day having been at the reopening of the library back in 2013 and thinking ‘I wish that I could work in somewhere like that, that would be the dream’ and now five years later I am. It is a proper pinch yourself kind of job, though I was very sad to say goodbye to the work, events and people at Culture Liverpool which was also a dream kind of job.

New Opportunities…

One of the things that I decided at the start of the year I wanted to do a lot more of was say yes to new opportunities and doing things I might not ordinarily do. So when I was at the Costa Book Awards Party (judging the Costa’s last year was amazing but I think stopped me blogging as much as I couldn’t really talk about what I was reading and was just reading, reading, reading) with my mother and a lovely man called Grant came up and asked me if he could possibly take me on at his agency, I thought ‘why not’ and last month I signed with Intertalent and have been enjoying some exciting meetings with all sorts of media bods about all sorts of radio, TV and journalism projects. We will see what happens. At the moment I am just enjoying meeting lots of people and having some lovely lunches, I am assuming nothing. You can find my profile here.

New Projects…

Finally I have also taken up some new projects. Since taking a step back from The Green Carnation Prize, though we are talking about its future, I felt that I would like to do something else for the LGBTQ+ community. Something that was still cultural but maybe a bit different too. I am delighted to say that I have now joined the board of trustees for the amazing festival Homotopia, which is going to be amazing when it comes back this November. Seriously the line up and variety is astounding. So there is that too. I also have a potential idea I am brewing over at the moment but am also trying really hard to understand my limits, something I have not always been brilliant at.

New Savidge Reads…

And so that brings me back to the new Savidge Reads, well it isn’t new, it is just a new chapter (see what I did there) and sort of new start to the blog. I have got the channel to where I want it and after having time to take stock of the Savidge situation was really missing it. But more of that and future plans tomorrow.

Now then, what have you all been up to and how have you all been. ALL the details please, would be lovely to have a natter and a catch up in the comments below. Hopefully some of you will still be out there.

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23 Comments

Filed under Random Savidgeness

23 responses to “So Where Have I Been & What Have I Been Upto?

  1. Welcome back and congratulations on all the good things in your life. I missed you.

  2. You were greatly missed….welcome back and huge congratulations on your marriage, your new position and.and.and! Can’t wait to catch up on all the posts you just sent. I’ve been doing more book review posts as well as well as starting a Fashion Book Club, the first was Loulou & Yves, superb book and a great start to my new monthly project. I’ll look forward to “hearing” from you on a regular basis and hope you don’t go away again! Cheers.

  3. Rhonda

    Lovely surprise opening my email& seeing all your book blogs all the book recommendations.Your library looks perfect congrats on the new job ,i congratulated on the wedding I follow on Instagram but congrats again you both look so happy,I’m off to add books to my tbr list thanks for all the recommendations,

  4. Rain City Reads

    Hi Simon! I wasn’t part of the Savidge fandom when your blog was last active, but found your channel several months ago and am now firmly on board with whatever you are creating! I want to offer hearty congratulations on all your wonderful milestones – house, husband, job and new opportunities. It seems I discovered you at a great time and am looking forward to hearing about all your adventures! I hope the blogging works better for you now, and I’ll read it all, but don’t force it. I abandoned mine for close to two years when I had a kid and though I missed it and am glad to be back (even if at 1/4 frequency) it was important to step away. So welcome back and here’s to whatever comes next in the Savidge Saga! (Also welcome to the brand, Chris!)

  5. I saw your lovely wedding post back in March and I’m glad to hear that all has proceeded smoothly (or at least smoother) since then.
    Feeling very envious of your book room; it looks fabulous. I spotted the flurry of book reviews throughout this month & hoped you would become a regular once again 🙂

  6. Thea

    Wonderful to have you back. Nothing better than a cup of coffee and a list of book recommendations.

  7. Welcome back and yes we have missed you, but loved reading all your news. (I saw the tweets about the wedding, but didn’t know the back story, you must have been wondering what else could go wrong!)
    *pause*
    I’m having trouble remembering all my news over the last 18 months…
    Let’s see… I’ve done a couple of LitFest gigs, and had a holiday in New Caledonia, and the vegies in the garden are thriving nicely, thank you. Blog wise, I’ve done one or two reviews of OzLit, finally (finally!) reached one million hits, and it’s my 10 year blogoversary 25 days from now…
    PS I love that shade of blue in your library!

  8. Annabel (gaskella)

    I know you’ve been busy, and some, but I so missed you here! For me, life carries on much the same but we have the stress of further education choices and the final yr of school for my daughter. My own job is drowning in H&S paperwork to prove compliance to school inspectors. They keep adding more! But I’m still reading and blogging and in the middle of planning a huge Golden Booker week for Shiny New Books.

  9. Lovely to have you back blogging. I’m still reading and writing about books, especially those from the small indie presses – happy to see you are reading The Gallows Pole. Lots of interesting book events attended. My highlight from the past year was being on the judging panel for the Republic of Consciousness Prize – so many excellent books to read for that, and didn’t have to appear on a video as I did for Not The Booker. Accepted an invitation to participate in a books podcast – I was SO nervous. I am better, and happier, writing than talking. Looking forward to your forthcoming updates.

  10. Hi Simon, just wanted to say thank you! It was coming across your blog that inspired me to start my own one a few months ago. It’s been really fun and rewarding so far – although I had no idea how addictive it could be 😅. Looking forward to reading more of your reviews and news!

  11. Lovely to wake up to notification of not one, but 12, blog posts from Savidge Reads this morning! Welcome back and congratulations on all of your fabulous news.

  12. I’m still out here, Simon 😁 Still following and nattering on Twitter and still fond memories of when a group of us met in that pub on Lambs Conduit Street – god that was ages ago!

  13. pam

    yay! how lovely to hear from you again!! congrats on all the wonderful changes in your life recently. i’m really looking forward to digging into all those reviews this week. and to continue hearing how your life is going (little savidges?!!!).

    i’m in florida, and it is hot as can be here at the moment. but even worse, the current political situation here in the states is SO dire. it is hard not to get depressed and wallow in it. i’m having to find new ways to pull myself out of it and keep going, which is not at all easy. books are an escape, of course, but also can be healing. i’m reading a lot for entertainment these days, but also for the first time in my life i find myself reading “self-help” or psychology books that give me tools to stop cycling downward into negativity and keep me fighting every day. i know it isn’t all peaches and cream in the UK these days, either. please send some positive vibes to all your friends and fans here in america that are having difficulty in these hard times.

    now more than ever is a time to read good books. i recently read “kiss of the spider woman” and LOVED it. also michel faber’s “book of strange new things” was weird and wonderful. same with steinbeck’s “winter of our discontent”. i’ve also recently enjoyed reading shirley jackson and flannery o’connor and i read the whole western trilogy from cormac mccarthy (which actually had a lot more humour than i expected). at the moment i’m reading graham greene’s “stamboul train”.

    thanks again for all you do!

  14. Gina Thomas

    I’m so pleased you’re blogging again! We’ve chatted a little on social media but I probably haven’t shared much about myself. But, since you’ve asked … I’ve been living in NC since 2013 after a divorce (you CAN go home again!) and now I’m semi-retired, living a quiet bookish life, looking after my parents and working part-time at Marshalls to support my book buying habit. I’m also a HUGE LFC fan and will one day visit your beautiful city and watch them in person at Anfield. I share the Liverpool love with my grown son who is a firefighter in TX – he married in November the most lovely girl in the world and we are so close they included me in the last 3 days of their honeymoon at Universal in Orlando to share the HP love! Anyway, that’s me. Looking forward to more blog posting, Simon. Please say hi to Chris for me too 🤓

  15. Welcome back and thank you for this morning’s inbox full of notifications! 😀 Look forward to seeing what you read next!

  16. Life ebbs and flows doesn’t it, and it’s lovely to see you have lobbed back here again. Meanwhile, I have been watching your book channel, and have, from there, been introduced to lots of other gorgeous booktubers so thanks for that.
    Some of them have led me to the joys of annotating my books. I know you won’t approve of this, but my ageing brain was having big problems remembering what happened at the beginning of a book as I reached the end. I’ve found annotating with colours and sticky notes has helped enormously and I’m now enjoying my reading even more – even chunksters!
    I’m so pleased for all the joys your life holds these days, though I don’t think I’ll ever comprehend how you fit everything in.
    All the best to you and your family.

  17. Good to see you back blogging Simon.
    So what have I been up too? Reading a lot, just passed 100 so far this year. On the Wellcome Prize shadow panel and went to the prize announcement where I met you.
    Asked to advise on the books going onto a longlist.
    I have been running a Publisher profile on my blog once a month and today’s just went online here
    http://halfmanhalfbook.blogspot.com/2018/06/publisher-profile-parthian.html
    Got made redundant and got another job four days later.
    Think that is about it.

  18. victoria

    It was a lovely surprise to find all the posts in my inbox yesterday. Congratulations on everything. No wonder you haven’t had much time for the blog.

  19. Richard

    As a quiet but regular follower of your reviews it’s great to see savidgereads come back to life …….. good to hear your news as well 🙂

  20. What in Hades! My inbox is overflowing and I shall happily get to reading. Congrats on all the wonderful changes in your life – love that house!
    Best…

  21. I still can’t get over the Liverpool Library job. I’m so so so jealous 😀 And then going on to be all fancy and stuff is even better!

  22. Kristen M.

    Well, this comment is a bit past fashionably late but I just wanted to add my congratulations for all of the amazing things you are up to! The house is lovely, the Chris is lovely, the library is lovely, etc. It has been so fun to follow you all of these years. I can’t wait to be one of those “I knew him when he was just a wee blogger …” people. 🙂

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