A day out in Barry…. Tidy…

“I’m not gonna lie to you, but at the end, of the day, when all’s said and done, fair dos”   Nessa, from Gavin and Stacey

My hometown, Barry in South Wales, has been put on the map by the comedy series, Gavin and Stacey, a programme which is funny for anyone to watch, but doubly so if you live, or have lived in Barry.  I was so taken by the character of Nessa, that I dressed up as her at a fancy dress event a couple of years ago.   At my recent birthday party, my daughter made a speech about the three most important lessons I had taught her in life, the first being:  “don’t take yourself too seriously, there’s humour in everything….. Mum once dressed up as her heroine, Nessa”.  The other two were, follow your dreams; and no heel can ever be too high….

I was delighted to be  invited to visit Barry Library early in September, to talk about my novel Honor’s Shadow and to sign copies for readers; and a very nostalgic day it turned out to be.   Highlights of the talk can be found HERE

As a child I lived about 2oo yards from the library, and was a very regular visitor to the children’s library, which was,  in those days, not much bigger than the average sitting room, though it seemed huge to me.  I can remember, vividly, my very first visit there when I was aged three, staring up at what seemed towering shelves, filled with books. Now, a new modern building houses the adult and children’s libraries, just around the corner from the old ones I remember so well.

Many of my old friends, along with my father and step mother  turned up to hear me speak, on the topic  “What can fictional stories tell us about betrayal and revenge?” drawing on examples from my novel Honor’s Shadow, The Mistresses Revenge by Tamar Cohen, Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes and The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson.  This talk proved to be a  rather ambitious undertaking, as I found out when I was preparing for it.  Interesting though.. one striking feature was that the female authors focussed on the love affair, whilst the male authors focussed more on the male rivalry.

I was particularly touched by the attendance of some of my late mother’s friends, who took the time to tell my two adult children, (there with me at the event) what a fine woman their grandmother (who died before they were born) had been, and how much she would have loved them.

 

 

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