Wednesday, January 17, 2018

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SWWJ - SHOWCASING OUR NEW POSTER

Super new poster for SWWJ courtesy of  Michelle Harriman and Rebecca Harding


Thursday, January 04, 2018

WELCOME TO THE 2018 ESSEX BOOK FESTIVAL


I very much enjoyed my trip to Southend's famous seafront  yesterday. The plan was to link up with Festival Director Ros Green and her team who have all been working hard to create the upcoming 2018 Essex Book Festival.  As a patron of the Book Festival for many years, it is always a pleasure to catch up with the regular faces who do so much work to put together the fabulous eclectic line-up of authors, poets, dramatists, musicians, journalists, film-makers and artists who make the month of March so enjoyable.  So, yesterday's trip to Southend was perfect for me and I enjoyed my first visit to Twenty One, this new cultural venue curated by Focal Point Gallery in the town.
Ros Green at Phoenix 98fm studio Brentwood in 2017


The free programmes I promised you are now available from most libraries and there you will find more than 200 personalities who will be descending on forty venues across Essex to entertain audiences from Chelmsford to Colchester, Maldon to Southend. Even before the first official performance in Colchester, we look forward to the Festival Launch at Anglia Ruskin University on Wednesday 28 February where Billy Bragg will be presenting Roots, Radicals and Rockers, details of which, you will find in the programme.

Then, throughout March, there will be numerous fabulous performances from folk such as Henry Blofeld, AL Kennedy, Michael Frayn, Jim Al Khalili, Jenny Uglow, Nicci French, Sally Magnusson, John Crace and so many more. Again, there will be the Golden Age Crime Weekend in Southend, the burgeoning Science & Invention Hub in Chelmsford and, for the first time in our Festival annals, a most unusual trip to the  Nuclear Option Day at Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, a place I know well as it is so close to where I live.

Syd Moore author and yours truly
 
Yesterday's meeting with Syd Moore, the Festival's Writer-in-Residence was fun and here we are together at Twenty One. Syd's new book STRANGE SIGHT - an Essex Witch Museum Mystery, sounds fascinating to me, especially after Syd's animated reading yesterday. I know she has many fans around Essex and will be participating in various debates, events and workshops across the county in March.  I have asked if she will find time  to come with me to Phoenix 98fm and meet our super presenter Michelle Ward whose Book Club programme is streamed around the world.  Details of the one hundred+ events in forty venues in this large county, are all to be found on the Essex Book Festival website:   www.essexbookfestival.org.uk   Tickets are already selling well.





















































 

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

NEW YEAR HONOURS LIST AND MY MEETING WITH RINGO STARR AND BARBARA BACH

Freelance writers are usually lucky folk who often receive invitations to attend some of London's popular events.  Have already met another former Beatle, Paul McCartney in Westminster many years ago, and it was a pleasure to meet his pal, Ringo Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach. Ringo, whose real name is Richard Starkey, is the second Beatle to be knighted 21 years after Paul McCartney. Lovely to have a little chat at one of the Chelsea Flower Show TV garden presentations and so nice of them to pose for me.  Also made a short video of them and other people in the tent that day. No idea why they wore sunglasses! I usually ask people to take them off when I am taking pics.  

I bet they are excited about this honour. I would be, and I would think the occasion would call for a nice new outfit!  

Friday, December 29, 2017

THE MINIATURIST BOOK AND FILM

There have been some great films shown over Christmas on UK television and I thought The Miniaturist - in two parts - was superb, despite some of the nasty reviews I read today in the press.

One of the reasons why I particularly wanted to see it, was that I had read the book and spent a little time with the author Jessie Burton a few years ago where I was able to take a few photos.  I enjoyed reading her book and the storyline stayed in my memory; the film was also fascinating and I thank the Essex Book Festival for bringing Jessie as our guest author in 2015.  On this particular subject, we are preparing for the 2018 Essex Book Festival and shortly, the programmes will be displayed in all Essex Libraries, some have already arrived! 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

LET'S MAKE A DATE WITH SIR TIM RICE AT CHRISTMAS TIME

Have just been reminded that one of our lovely SWWJ Patrons Sir Tim Rice, will be appearing in a tribute to his life and work on BBC4 on Boxing Day in 'Tim Rice - A Life in Song,' at 9pm.

The programme will be coming from the Royal Festival Hall, and, as our colleague Pamela Birley mentioned, this sounds a delightful way to spend Boxing Day evening. www.swwj.co.uk

Sunday, December 17, 2017

IT'S THAT'S TIME OF THE YEAR AND OUR SUPER "EVERGREEN" BOOK FROM ESSEX IS SELLING WELL IN THE COUNTY'S BOOKSHOPS

Sisters Elizabeth Wallace, Eve Gladstone, Margaret Powell and Shirley Tolliday all contributed to the content of this lovely little book which outlines some of our county's fascinating folklore and history at this special time of the year. Elizabeth enjoyed interviewing so many Essex folk and their stories and pictures are precious and will bring back memories to many people who lived, loved and were part of this special county of Essex.

Monday, December 11, 2017

SNOWING HARD, BUT COULDN'T MISS THE EMMANUEL CAROL SERVICE AT BILLERICAY


Such a beautiful background for our Carol Service at Billericay's Emmanuel Church



Royal Air Force Air Cadets from 2393 Squadron were on hand to assist Reverend Carr to meet and greet parishioners who also beat the weather
Billericay's Emmanuel Church  Minister  Reverend  Paul Carr with two friends at last night's glorious Carol Service