Monday 18 March 2024

An eventful week


Last week was eventful in more ways than one. This blog raced past a total of 3.5 million views - current figures are running at over 3000 views a day, which is atypical, to say the least. Not quite sure what has prompted all this traffic, but I've been very glad to receive plenty of good comments as well, not just on current posts but also on some of the older ones. 

As spring approaches, I've started doing a variety of events - three very enjoyable ones last week, all with an added appeal because they offered a chance to give some support to worthy endeavours. I began with a trip to Royal Lancaster Grammar School, whose A-level students, lucky things, are studying crime fiction. How education has changed! A different sort of audience for me - probably the youngest since the days when I had a year or two as writer in residence at the Heath Comprehensive School in Runcorn - and a very good one. 

I was impressed by the range and number of questions the students asked and it was wonderful to see these young people taking such an interest. Afterwards, the teacher who arranged the event told me one student had already said they felt inspired to write a crime novel - a lovely reaction.

Later in the week I had the chance to return to the Wirral peninsula, where I lived for eight years in the 80s. It wasn't simply about nostalgia, although there was a bit of that. Ann Cleeves was launching her latest paperback, The Raging Storm, and the two events were organised by Linghams, a very good bookshop in Heswall, and designed to support the RNLI, the dedicatees of the book. I was asked to chair the two events, both held in an excellent venue, a church in Hoylake, only a mile or two from my old flat. Also taking part was Chris Williams, whom Ann has known for many years, and who is closely involved with the RNLI.

There were two events because the first one, on Thursday evening, quickly sold out all 200 tickets. With two engaging speakers, my job was very easy and then there was a pleasant evening meal and conversation in the bar with Ann and her colleagues Emma and Steve in the pub/hotel where we were all staying on the banks of the Dee.

Next morning there was a chance to catch up with Murder Squad founder Margaret Murphy before we headed back to Hoylake. Chris took us on a guided tour of the lifeboat station and showed us round the very impressive lifeboat - it cost about £3 million and really is state-of-the-art. It's worth noting that the RNLI is funded entirely by public donations. 

The second event was just as enjoyable as the first, with Chris proving to be a natural raconteur. Sue Porter of Linghams made sure everything went very smoothly and it was a real pleasure to be associated with events that were not only fun but also helped to raise money and awareness for a marvellous cause.



Anonymous said...

Wow! That really is an incredible week. Sounds like you had a great time and made an impact.

Liz Gilbey said...

Congratulations, Martin. Could not happen to a nicer person or a more interesting and varied blog page. No pressure, then? X

ANNETTE said...