Saturday, 19 August 2017

Swanwick Writers' Summer School 2017


A great Swanwick Summer School – more people than ever, including lots of first timer “white badgers”, and amazed that there was a coach big enough to collect 70 people from Derby train station. A big football match on so crowds of fans singing and clapping as they left the station, escorted by several smiling policemen. Limited vocabulary for some of the songs, but a good-natured lot before kick-off.
Brilliant choice of speaker for the first night – Stephen Booth. I remember reading his first crime book Black Dog many years ago, and can still visualize some of the scenes. Apparently, there were only two books in the house when he was young so his was a fascinating journey to write so many crime novels. He gave insights into how his characters develop, and no, he has no idea at the beginning who did it or why! Very inspiring.

There is a packed programme all week with 4-session specialist topics, including my Writing Non-Fiction course (see my happy group in photo), plus lots of 2-session features on a wide range of subjects. Whether you are interested in writing poetry or crime, children’s stories or fantasy, flash fiction or a novel, there is something here to get you motivated to actually get it done. There is even a “no procrastination” day for you to just work on something in a silent, interruption-free zone. I finally finished revising my 10 Principles of Risk Management text to re-publish it this year (first published 2002) so this was perfect for me.

It is a lovely venue, plenty of buffet-style food, tea and coffee available all day and yes, the bar really is open lunch-time and in the evening. Next year Swanwick Summer School is 70 years old, so put 11-17th August 2018 in your diary as booking starts February 2018. Maybe see you there?

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Lunch at Golden Lion in Pembrokeshire

Keeping to foody theme, had a great lunch at The Golden Lion Hotel, Newport, Pembrokeshire yesterday. Bar meal was beautifully presented, interesting choice on menu & specials - we loved the fish pie (Les's favourite of course), tempura-batter haddock, cod & chips again, very light beer-batter, and pie of the day. A dessert as well, of course, so with 2 mains, a dessert and a drink each the bill was £49 - definitely worth it. Will have to try an overnight stay next time. Oh yes, and eat in the restaurant rather than the bar