Tag Archives: Random Savidgeness

A Lovely Literary London Trip…

The blog has been a little bit quiet this week because I am down in London and whilst I did bring my laptop (with the intention of catching up with lots of backlogged reviews and the lije) I haven’t turned it on very much as I have been out and about doing some lovely literary and/or touristy things, so I thought I would share some of them with you. First up on arrival in London last Sunday I did something slightly sneaky, I told hardly anyone I was here. I love, love, love catching up with people however I never end up getting time to just have a wander, go shopping or take in an exhibition. I have been desperate to see the Crime Museum Uncovered at the Museum of London for ages and ages (and Sunday was it’s final day) and so stealthily I went, it was amazing.

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You can’t take pictures once you are in, because there are murder weapons and all sorts inside and it is all still owned by Scotland Yard (though there is a book), what impressed me so much was that the way the exhibition is curated and worded the emotion of it all hits you, it is very much about how murder and crime can suddenly happen to anyone by anyone and really, really makes you think about all those involved. I found it horrifying, grimly fascinating but overall very moving and effecting, the Museum of London is also just marvellous, I have no idea why I have never been there before. I spent ages wandering through the exhibitions on London during the plague, the Great Fire, the War and wandering through a Victorian street. Brilliant.

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I then went and pottered around St Paul’s, possibly looking for the First Dates restaurant and then actually for some food. I never visit tourist sights like this and it is SO London, so I wanted a potter round, though I wasn’t paying to go in – I have a theory on paying to go into churches, but that is not for now.

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I then headed to my favourite park in London, Postman’s Park. If you haven’t been you must. There is an area of the park that is a place of memories of those who have died sacrificing themselves for someone else and I never cease to find it moving.

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So that was my Sunday, I managed to be a complete tourist. Monday was spent wandering the shops and reading in cafes, or over pizza, before I met up with Eric of LonesomeReader so the Bearded Bailey’s Book Group could go to the Bailey’s Shortlist party which was very good indeed. The highlight for me might just have been standing with Janet Ellis and Sophie Ellis Bextor talking about books for 10 minutes over cocktails. Lovely stuff.

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Tuesday was more mooching and wandering sprinkled with a meeting or too, sometimes it is just nice to have a wander, before catching up with my almost ex-husband (not long to go) before heading out for dinner with the lovely Catherine Hall and some interestingly spelt Turkish food…

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Wednesday was day one of the London Book Fair. Now if, like I once did, you imagine the London Book Fair to be the Motor Show of the book world (lots of free books and the like) think again. It is a madness of sweltering sales people and deals and other goings on.

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I did however have meetings there on the Thursday but headed over on the Wednesday, with the lovely Rob of Waterstones and Adventures with Words, to go and see Deborah Levy talking about Hot Milk with Alex Clarke, who through Twitter I feel like I have known for years and who is just as lovely as I wanted her to be in real life…

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Before then seeing Jeanette Winterson talking about her new novel which takes on Shakespeare.

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I then ended up seeing lots of friendly faces as I milled round getting my bearings for the following day. I left with Rob feeling like this…

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I then caught up with my mate Andy who I hadn’t seen for seven years for an epic decompress after Olympia before readying myself for a second day, filled with meetings, before meeting up with my old co-host of The Readers, Gav of Gav Reads, we were much happier about it than we looked…

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…Before heading of to Kensington Palace (as you do) for the Man Booker International Prize shortlist party. Where I saw so many lovely faces, some who I had only met on Twitter, some who I have known a while and was delighted to catch up with all of them, and had lots of lovely bookish chats whilst also keeping my eyes peeled for royalty, ha.

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Then it was probably one of the highlights of my trip so far, but something ace is coming tomorrow, as I went off to Soho post Booker party to meet up with some of my fellow Waterstones Bloggers; Kim, Nina, Rob, Kate and Eric for some wonderful cocktails, nibbles and gossip, I mean natter…

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Rob, Kate and I then went off to meet Gav, who had been to the Terry Pratchett memorial, in a cafe on Leicester Square where we proceeded to drink coffee, eat cake and end up plotting a whole new project, more on that soon. Blimey, it has been a full week. I am now off to dash to two more meetings before going on a bookshop crawl with Gavin today, which I will report back on. It’s been such good fun and I still have a few days left. What have all of you been up to lately?

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I’m Planning A Bookshop Crawl in London…

…Next week with Gavin of Gav Reads and An Unreliable Reader when we are both in London. Gavin and I haven’t seen each other in aaaaaaages, though we talk all the time, but we thought a fun way to spend a day would be to wander the streets of London book hunting, and possibly book hauling. What could be better? The question though now is which bookshops do we go to?

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Now while I lived in London for 12 years the first few were spent in a barren period of book buying as I only regained my love of books and bookshops in the last few years that I was there and then I generally spent times in the ones in central or the ones in and around Tooting. So I was wondering if you lovely lot could tell me about your favourite bookshops (be they chains, indies, in central or out of it) in the capital and why you love them so much? We may just pop to them and I may just get one of you, picked later at random, a gift as a thank you, ha!

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34 Things To Do Before 35…

Today I will be celebrating my 34th birthday. I always find birthdays to be a time to reflect, even more so than a new year, I guess because they are your personal new year. So from this year on I have decided to do something new and give myself a list of things that I would like to do in the next twelve months. I thought 34 would be a good number for obvious reasons, though what I will go if I live to 99 I do not know. Anyway here goes…

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  1. Fly a bird of prey and have it land on me and become my new best mate, I am thinking of a massive owl or eagle at the moment.
  2. Visit a country I have never been to.
  3. Take part in a 24 hour readathon, and not fall asleep.
  4. Be able to run on a treadmill for more than 30 minutes, in one go, without dying or thinking/feeling I might.
  5. Be kinder to idiots.
  6. Embrace household chores, think of all the podcasts I can listen to.
  7. Judge another book prize.
  8. Finally watch Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. No, really I never have. You’re shocked aren’t you, I can tell.
  9. Have better control of my giveaway facial expressions and eye rolling.
  10. Hold a duckling.
  11. Follow my gut instinct, be swayed less.
  12. Go ‘proper’ walking more, in your head you hate it but after that first mile you’re off.
  13. Take that first week off in February again in 2017 because after the evil of Christmas it’s a winner. Maybe Croatia.
  14. Visit more castles, stately homes, art galleries and museums.
  15. Go to a book festival abroad.
  16. Learn a second language, properly.
  17. Read more, I read a lot but I also spend ridiculous amounts of time on various apps on my phone.
  18. Try something new on a menu whenever in an Italian, Chinese or Indian – you always have the same Savidge, it’s boring.
  19. Never take a single day for granted, sometimes you get jaded.
  20. Sit and have a chat with Margaret Atwood.
  21. Get on Woman’s Hour, somehow.
  22. Get a new tattoo, something animal, but think about it a bit more first.
  23. More rock pooling.
  24. Find a house with guest rooms and a bath tub, oh and more space for books.
  25. Do something to help authors in the North of England and working class voices from all over.
  26. Go to a fancy dress party… and enjoy it.
  27. Manage to sleep in a tent for a whole night, maybe even two.
  28. Sort out your personal admin/filing system in the house and on your computer, it’s a disgrace unlike your work desk which is filed within an inch of it’s life.
  29. Head to the wilds of Scotland in a camper van, you have wanted to for about 10 bloody years.
  30. Carry on refusing to be a proper grown up 45% of the time.
  31. Not give myself 20 minutes to write a list that takes a whole year of my life into account.
  32. Give up on books I think are just not for me.
  33. Use one notebook at a time until it is completed. Well, ok, use at least one large notebook and one small notebook at a time instead of four or five.
  34. Stop procrastinating. Well maybe stop procrastinating so much, in a bit.

So that is my list of 34 things. I am going to do the best I can without stressing if I fail, but not using ‘not being bothered’ about failing as an excuse to not give it all a good crack. Seems simple enough? Do any of you ever make big to do lists like this and if so what is on them? Any from my list you might like to try yourself?

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Hello. It’s Me. 

Though my actual birthday is in two weeks time, I have just had my big birthday present which was an evening watching one of my favourite singers. Can you guess who?

  

Well if you guess that is was only blooming Adele then you would be be absolutely correct. And she was absolutely phenomenal. 

 
She looks a lot futher away that she felt to be honest, despite being about 10,000 other people in the arena it felt really intimate. From the moment we heard the word ‘Hello’ come from out of the darkness to the confetti cannons at the end of Rolling in the Deep two hours later it was just incredible. There were all the wonderful songs (Set Fire To The Rain is my fav and made me cry, Someone Like You just makes everyone cry)  but there was also the chat and the banter, and the swearing six as the’F**k, stop. I’ve sung the wrong bloody words. What am I f**king like? Sorry everyone, let’s start again.’ moment. She just hung out with us then belted the songs out way better than on her albums, which are obviously amazing. 

  
So that was that. I thought I would share it all with you because it was amazing. Definitely worth a night off from reading for, hahaha. 

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Where Does The Time Go? (I Used To Be A Blogging Machine)

Without blowing my own trumpet, as this is not something I can do and I have tried, over the years lots of people have asked me the same question quite a few times. No, not that one, another one. ‘How do you make time and fit everything in?’ I used to look bewildered or just, with a vague smugness, say ‘oh I make time’ and serenely drift off. Well, karma is a bitch and recently I have been asking myself just how on earth I managed work, a social life, reading, blogging and podcasting all in one week because over the last few weeks it has seemed impossible. Where once I was some kind of blogging machine, who could read a book every other day and blog every day, I have now become a man who takes a week to read a book or two and seems to only find snippets of time not long enough to write reviews. Or finds he has a day so back dates a few and then realises has no future content. It has all got a little muddled somewhere.

Not that I am complaining I have been busy doing lots of things that I love. Work has been good with some lovely literary Liverpool projects to work on as well as lots of exciting festivals over the next year or three, though my probation meeting is next week and I am somewhat nervous as you never know. Then there’s been decorating, trips to Cyprus, an engagement, time away with my mother seeing some family I hadn’t seen for over a decade last weekend, got far too excited by an All Saints reunion, hosted some live events with Joanna Cannon (have I mentioned you really must read The Trouble With Goats and Sheep) oh aswell as becoming a Stonewall School Role Model (and giving my first talk), being made a member of the Library Advisory Board and a This Girl Can Forum, so am feeling like a proper grown up. One of my new year’s resolutions was ‘to do lots of different things and lots of things differently’ and I am definitely doing that.

One of my internal new year’s resolutions was to blog more and I am a bit narked at myself that I haven’t been blogging as much. BUT I have been plotting and planning a few projects off blog all around books, book prizes and the like which will be coming to, or featuring on, the blog soon (two of them this week in fact, so I am not just being vague with no actual grounds) so things are coming honest and equilibrium is being reached, which feels very nice as I do miss blogging. Speaking of which I haven’t caught up with a blog or a bookish podcast in ages, I need that magic spell Hermione Granger has that allows her to do several things at once, don’t we all?

Anyway, this is a long winded (though hopefully not wanky and self indulgent or just on the safe side of) was of saying ‘oops, I haven’t blogged as much as I would like’ but I should be, even if it is just a random blog asking you what you are all reading, or a simple snapshot of something bookish like a shameless picture of Liverpool Central Library who I am working very closely with and am secretly hoping I could get a desk in a few days a week, I mean look at it…

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Anyway, even more long-windedly as it turns out, that is where we are, things are getting more balanced again. Ooh and by the way, I would love more of you to take part in Other People’s Bookshelves, the volunteer pool seems to have dried up and I love this series as much as, if more so, than regular readers here do, so please do volunteer your services and your shelves. I would also love to know if there is anything you would like me to do on the blog I am not, or any other thoughts, all welcome. Right I am off to try and catch up with something else I have been meaning to do for ages, watching the Icelandic crime drama Trapped. What are you all up to?

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Some None Bookish News… 

Now we have told everyone who we wanted to that might be furious/sad if they saw it on the internet first, I can share something rather exciting with all of you. Whilst we were out in Cyprus the week before last it seems the spirit of Aphrodite took us over completely…


Yes, The Beard and I got engaged. Who saw that coming? Certainly not me. I am thrilled and very excited though. There will be bookish bells (in a very bookish venue if I have my way) late summer 2017 all going well. Thought I’d share it with you all, even if it’s not really that booky at all! Books will be back tomorrow.

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The Tomb of the Kings, Paphos

I was a huge, huge fan of the Indiana Jones films as a kid (not so much the last one as an adult, it’s probably best if we all forget that it happened) and have always quite liked the ice of going off for an adventure into some old caves, ancient sites or tombs investigating and finding old relics. It was possibly this side of me, along with the gothic elements to, that lead me to take up a role as a tour guide at Highgate Cemetery. So when I discovered that there was a necropolis in Paphos that looked like an Indiana Jones film set I had to go.

 
It’s is quite surreal as you enter the park that within metres you realise that you are not surrounded by natural caves but by tombs. From the outside they look like a rocky natural cavern and then you go inside and discover there is much more than meets the eye. Who knows what might be lurking in them.

 
These are not actually tombs of kings but really a series of tombs built by the rich and aristocratic of the area. As you get towards the centre it all gets more and more showy. The more tombs you go in.

 
Until you get to the centre and possibly the grandest tomb I have ever seen, and believe me there are some corkers in Highgate, nothing quite on this scale though.

 

Quite something indeed and actually quite spooky when you get down there and there is just you and all that space…

 
The spookiness (and stillness and quiet) was part of what I loved about it all. As you descended or ascended each staircase you were never quite sure what you might find.

 

Bar a few small incidents of some Cyprus Lizards (which are pretty big) a pair of unsuspecting pigeons and a pair of fellow tourists popping their heads out when I least expected it I was very brave. (I did almost scream in the couples face when they suddenly appeared.) So maybe there is still time for me to become an intrepid explorer…

 
…Maybe! Or I could move here and become a cave/tomb guide. I do now really fancy some tales of adventure in the Indiana Jones style though. Know of any series or novels like that? I fancy getting lost in a few jungles, tombs and forgotten/hidden valleys, any recommendations?

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