I always thought it grand to be a newspaper columnist, rather than doing proper work – even on a newspaper. Of course, the reality is different.
On local papers, columnists tend to write their stuff in rare free moments and often just before deadline, while having other duties like reporting or editing.
Now semi-retired, I’m typing this in pyjamas after breakfast in my ‘study’ (really the storage and laundry room). It’s second nature now and I would miss these weekly chats with you.
My first column came in my early 20s on a weekly in London’s East End. Since then I’ve written for papers in cities as diverse as Hong Kong and Salt Lake City - yes, for the Mormons who were generous payers!
Mainly, though, I’ve written about life on the Fylde for this paper - over four decades.
I tell you all this as my latest book is a collection of columns illustrated with occasional cartoons and updates, entitled ‘Wish You Were Here’.
I hoped it might entertain, rather than these shared muses, observations and confessions just being chucked out with the fish-and-chip shop wrappings.
It might even make a healthy gift. According to reports, books are good for mental well-being. They take readers outside their daily problems, offer another view of the world and teach us that we’re not all so different after all.
However, I prefer to think of it as a fun stroll in good company down the promenade of life.
It’s published at this time, with thanks to The Gazette, as autumn is setting in, temperatures dropping and darker nights approaching. When better, then, to settle down beside a cosy fire and escape our everyday concerns? What’s more, if its blurb reads true, you can dip in and out of this book like a warm Irish Sea – and that’s a rare treat indeed!
For Roy’s books go to royedmonds-blackpool.com, Kindle or Waterstones.