Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Money for Nothing and Chicks for Free

At last the third book in the series is now finished and out of my hair. The launch went well with 65 people attending and a sell out event at Central Library for my part in the Books on Tyne event. Since the Evening Chronicle requested my publisher to supply them with all three, sales are going extremely well. Now for the next project in the new year which is The Grainger Market. I have spoken to civic centre staff who are really supportive. Looking forward to meeting new people, Taking photos and working with artist Paul Goldsmith who has offered to supply his art work for the front cover and illustrations. It`s been busy the past few weeks meeting up with old pals. The Station Hotel offers a three course lunch for £10, so we took advantage of this for a couple of get togethers and afterwards at one of our favourite haunts, Las Iguana`s. Have four of my drawings and batik silks in Laughing Cat Café in town. The café supports local artists and a few of us, who have had exhibitions here, have been given 3-4 spaces for the next couple of months. When a piece is sold, we can replace. I`ve sold one so far and have two new ones on the go. I`m ashamed to say that I spent my first time at Derwent reservoir this month. Work started here in 1960 and there`s something quite spooky to know that cottages once stood on the spot where this teeming mass resides now. I stayed with an old school pal in her parents cottage for a few days and we drove there to walk. We were lucky enough to witness the decent of a flock of Canadian Geese which was amazing. A few gorgeous black bulls became very nosey at out approach and a delightful bullock accepted our offer of fresh grass. Why have I left it so long to visit here? We walked for four miles and I loved every minute. My new year resolution? A group of us attended the Richard Burton Diaries lecture at Newcastle Unversity. It was excellent and focused more on Burton`s academic life rather than going over old ground with Lizzy. Afterwards we called in to Quilliam Brothers Tea Rooms at Haymarket. It wasn`t a cold night and no ice to be seen, but I cut through Eldon Square on my way through town, slipped and fell flat on my back. Luckily I was wearing my haversack and it broke my fall. The only thing I can think of where this ice came from was from the overwatered plant stands which were in the shadow of the George and Dragon statue. My camera would usually be in my back pack, but I had been using it at an event earlier that day and it was in my shopping bag. In the past, I might have moaned regarding my sore wrist and embarrassment, but now that I`m getting older I`m so grateful that I didn`t knock myself out or break something! I supported my friend and fellow writer, James Fisher by reading at his book launch of Downstream, Andrew Belshaw provided his own photos to illustrate the book. A group of us also read at the Literary and Philosophical Society to raise funds for the Phillipines, wittily named The Lit and Phillipines, over £200 was raised and we all enjoyed mulled wine and cakes. Another excellent event was held by the Heaton History Group at the Corner House on the Cullercoats Fish Wives. The team who delivered the talk complimented it with slides, clog dancing, poems and singing. Keith Fisher`s new book Castle on the Corner was available for sale and will be of great interest to residents and ex residents of the Heaton area who want to discover the history of Heaton Hall Estate and the secrets of King John's Palace. The book is made up of photos, drawings, maps and a very well written historical and social account of this area. Xmas lunch - for the fourth year running at eldest son`s home with a houseful of adults and kids. Looking forward to the day. Have applied for my state pension and free bus pass. Because the dates have changed from automatically receiving said funds at age 60 have changed, I have had to wait 1 year and 10 months before being in receipt. I apreciate that there has to be a cut off point, but surely if a body has paid into the system for over 40 years this should figure? A woman only need have contributed 35 years of full stamp to obtain full pension, so why discriminate with state pension and bus pass by setting unrealistic dates? Women who have had children and received family allowance will have had 15 years of full stamp already paid for them, so I suppose there is some justice here, but we certainly get nothing for free. Poster in West End Library

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