Monday, December 08, 2008

" My Last Blog Before Christmas:Hope Your Christmas Is Exactly What You Want It To Be...."

Just had a varied week ( best sort) what with seeing folk, family, my classes etc......
BUT a highlight was writer Margaret Murphy's gripping talk at AGM of Friends of Chester Lit Fest ( see, also see

Liverpudlian born Margaret is a highly succesful crime writer ( ) with nine internationslly acclaimed psychological thrillers to her credit. Her most recent books are " The Dispossessed" and "Now you see me" And they do seriously THRILL!
Amongst her numerous credits, Margaret is founder member of Murder Squad ( see ) Vice Chair of Crime Writers Association and recently she was appointed a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. She's a super lady and the Friends delighted in her company

On Tuesday I ran a workshop at Chester Theatre Club ( where we "made" monologues after a fun half hour "creating " characters( I thought monologues particularly suitable for actors??...and my "hunch" came off: we ended with some great readings) We also looked at CarolAnn Duffy's brilliant collection " The Worlds Wife" ( reading monologues by Mrs Aesop and Pilot's Wife)

On Wednesday a trip to Theatr Clwyd for new film version of Waugh's " Brideshead Revisited". I believe it's had mixed reception BUT my friend/I loved it. It's long, but time flew. And we were particularly impressed by wonderful Emma Thompson as Her Ladyship. A future dame?? ...

And Saturday there was a relaxing trip to friends living at the bottom of a hill on the edge of the Cheshire Plain ( MORE ex neighbours who moved away: see post on 18:11:08)......HAVE we said something??) This included mulled wine at their local PO by Cholomondeley Castle... and the hugest roast dinner imaginable. An excellent start to Christmas...

SO that's it until next year.
Hope all Bloggers have a Merry Christmas ( or wotever sort they really/secretly want...!)

Monday, December 01, 2008

"Last Week In Liverpool"

We took two trips to Liverpool last week:
On Monday (amongst other stuff) we visited a photography exhibition by Philip Jones Griffiths ( 1936-2008) at the National Conservation Centre Whitechapel ( .
And as with most successful artists, Griffiths revealed much about himself through his stunning work: we saw Vietnam war, we saw bombsites of 50's Liverpool (where children played, far freer than todays children dare) .....We glimpsed CND Demos in Trafalgar Square, Northern Ireland in the 60's, and yes.....when we stared into some photos, we reckoned we almost "heard" the Beatles..."Sgt Pepper" and "Eleanor Rigby" and " Michelle, ma belle" of four floppy haired lads, thrilling Liverpudlians at the Cavern...
And everywhere in Griffiths' work, we saw people: living their lives, often in ordinariness, in hopelessness, in poverty, but sometimes with delight, occassionally with celebration......
It was all there, for us to contrast and to reflect on....and certainly to appreciate.

On Tuesday, we were invited to an event at St Georges Hall, hosted by Liverpool solicitors, Mace and Jones, during the 2008 City of Culture programme.
The evening was for two reasons; to launch the latest book of prolific crime writer/lawyer Martin Edwards ( "Dancing for the Hangman" see and also to announce results of the shortstory competition, run by Mace and Jones as part of the Liverpool 2008 celebrations.
And after drinks, chattings and nibbles ( including the most delicate, tiniest, tasty portions EVER of fish/chips!)..... I was delighted to be presented with a prize for my story: " Red Geraniums", placed 3rd in the competition. Ist and 2nd prizewinners were Cathy Roberts and Mary D'Arcy.
And that's me ( smiling, of course) betwixt Martin Edwards and TV writer/producer Phil Redmond, who handed over a very nice cheque!

It was a lovely evening... and I'm now looking forward to enjoying my prize AND settling down some dark December evening ( with curtains tightly closed, cats beside me) plus a glass of red and Martin Edwards' chilling just-out tale of Crippen...