I HAVE to tell readers the book launch of Route 63: Around England On A Bus Pass, by former Gazette reporter Dave Hadfield, will now be at 8pm, Saturday, October 24 at New South Promenade’s Velvet Coaster.
This was an unexplained change from Dave, latterly of Sky TV and The Independent and billed as Bolton’s Bill Bryson. However, I do have an unfortunate personal history with book-launch sessions.
My first was at Plackitt & Booth’s store in Lytham. I hate public speaking, but there were many friendly faces. Then, just as I was beginning my speech, a shelf display fell upon a lady in the front row – causing minor uproar.
I struggled on, but was distracted by her updates on the small graze sustained, such as: “It’s bleeding now! Anyone got a tissue?”
My next event was due at Poulton Library but, when I inquired about modest expenses, they never got back in touch.
Third time lucky, I told myself, when going to Knott End Library for another launch.
When we arrived at lunchtime it was closed. Apparently, the librarian had been so excited about my book event she had crashed her car driving to work.
Fortunately, she wasn’t hurt but still being checked in hospital.
They ferried over two librarians from Fleetwood and we got going with a reasonable throng. Then I noticed all the page corners I’d carefully turned down, to mark excerpts from display books I planned to read from, were now no longer there.
“I so hate turned down pages, don’t you?” said a kindly woman, who had thoughtfully straightened them all again.
When I finally found something to read, a terrier tied up outside started barking loudly whenever I spoke.
“Speak louder!” encouraged my mother-in-law, as my wife tried to calm the barking little blighter outside.
Ah well, we’ll see how Dave copes, with ups and downs at the Coaster.
* Also visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com.