Oxfam reading

Posted in This writing business on 5 July 2010 by nicholasroyle

Tom Fletcher and I will be reading tomorrow night – Tuesday 6 July – between six and seven pm at Oxfam, Didsbury, 778 Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20. The event is part of Oxfam’s national Bookfest, back for a second run. There are numerous other events at the Didsbury branch and at many other Oxfam shops around the country.

Oxfam has come in for a lot of criticism from secondhand booksellers who regard it as having unfairly encroached on their territory; indeed, the charity has been blamed for putting some dealers out of business. But it’s hard to see Oxfam as the villain here, raising money as it does to ease the effects of poverty around the world. You can’t really argue with that. I love secondhand bookshops – more than I love new bookshops, strange for a writer perhaps, but I was a reader before I became a writer – and I feel the loss of every secondhand bookshop that closes. But I also like to support a good cause, both by shopping in Oxfam and by supporting the charity in other ways, such as taking part in Bookfest.

So, if you are near an Oxfam shop over the next week or so and they’re staging bookfest events, get down there. If you’re in Manchester at a loose end before the Holland v Uruguay semi-final tomorrow night, come down to Didsbury and Tom and I will read to you.


Isosceles merkins

Posted in Dreams on 12 October 2009 by nicholasroyle

Conrad W and I were walking back from somewhere. There was some water to cross, a canal or a river. I crossed where it was narrow and I could jump across. Conrad went where the water was wider, meaning he had to strip off. I saw him arch out of the water, revealing that he had been fitted – like others around him – with a very large isosceles-shaped merkin.

Later. I was informed that a ‘Pakish’ friend or colleague of Kate’s had died in a terrorist attack mounted by Islamist militants. ‘Pakish’ was the word used by the woman who told me. I knew it wasn’t the right word, that she should have said ‘Pakistani’, but I accepted it as being similar to ‘Polish’. (11.10.09)

Copper kestrels

Posted in Dreams on 11 October 2009 by nicholasroyle

I’m on a bus that stops and goes nowhere. I ask the driver why he’s not leaving. He says something or other. I get really cross. I want to go. He’s still not going. There are forests and steep hillsides, even though we are just off Finchley Road in north London, or Highgate. Someone had described a route by a church. I took a back route, saw the back of the church and all the forests.

Later. On another bus, held up by workmen in the road not getting out of the way.

People are killing kestrels for the copper they steal and eat from the top of fence posts.

Pushing my bike, I’ve borrowed an amp, which is on the rack at the back. I’m doing a reading and I need an amp. There are three blokes with me and one woman. (10.10.09)

Tight squeeze

Posted in Dreams on 3 October 2009 by nicholasroyle

In a black cab with Tom Fletcher. We are taking a back route, a short cut, one I didn’t know about. I’m excited about it. We are inside some kind of tunnel or enclosed space rather like a ghost train. The cab is now a carriage on rails. We approach an opening so narrow there’s no way we will be able to pass through it. Blocks of wood either side at head height. Somehow, however, we do squeeze through. (02.10.09)

At Fantasycon

Posted in Dreams on 22 September 2009 by nicholasroyle

At Fantasycon, in a rather grim hotel in Nottingham, where I shared a room on the second floor with Conrad W while Tom F and Richard W occupied a room on a higher floor, I dreamt that I exited from our room to find Tom’s room now just across the corridor and slightly to the left. (19.09.09)

The perch

Posted in Dreams on 2 September 2009 by nicholasroyle

Fishing from the beach. The water becomes a lot deeper a little way out as the shelf drops away, so that it is like fishing from the rocks. I catch a fish – a perch. I’ve hooked it above the nose. It is colourless, as if made of glass. (30.08.09)

The scoter

Posted in Dreams on 27 August 2009 by nicholasroyle

There’s a man whose job it is to bring the birds. Bring them where? Some place in Europe. He brings a tiny scoter duck and some bigger geese.

We’re in a series of shelters – like abandoned military buildings. Kate and I go in one and let the children stay in another, so that we might have some privacy. Some men come in. One of them has translated something for me. It’s a bit more flowery and declamatory than it might have been had I translated it, but it’s good that he’s done it.

Watching Mike S go into one of these buildings to get something for me. He’s running and at the same time giving the thumbs-up to a fire engine crew who might otherwise have thought he was running to put out a fire. (26.08.09)