Wednesday, 31 August 2016


I've just come back from a wonderfully hot, family-soaked holiday in Spain. Not many people know that because I am so very internet paranoid.

I'm not quite sure what I think is going to happen: the local villain will turn to cyber research, picking a name out of a hat which happens to be Jackie Buxton, travel through the 33 'Jackie Buxton's on Facebook – there are this many, I checked – to find the one who lives somewhere around here (obviously I'm far too scared of my cyber shadow to divulge exactly where in the north of England that might be) and, after cracking the 'friends only' block, will smile gleefully at noticing that I happen to be out of the country (and indeed, that my tightly packed neighbours have also chosen this time for an excursion) exactly when he/she has a bit of time on their hands. Next, we hope that this local, cyber researching burglar with time on his/her hands isn't good at busting down doors and foiling alarm codes.

Of course, this could happen. And you can guarantee – because this is exactly how my mind works – that this will happen the day I let down my guard to post on Facebook and Twitter that I am beyond excitement about my pending holiday and if I spend another moment in front of my desk I will fossilise. Thus, I tie myself up in knots not mentioning it. Talk about, Don't mention the war! Every second word is suitcase and Sangria.

But, like my Dad who couldn't close the door on our bedrooms at night without first checking that switching off the light hadn't caused a spark behind the switch and a fire in the wall behind, and my friend whose family sit in the car and count how many times she returns to the door to check it's locked - We all do that, I say. Not seventeen times, the husband replies – pre-holiday internet muteness is how it is for me.

Meanwhile, I'm happy to report that the holiday was all I hoped for - and some - and although I love where I live and am very happy in my village somewhere in the north of England, no I wasn't ready to come home from the sun, pool, beach, Sangria, reading, cycling, family paella nights, synchronised swimming (sorry, 'synchronised' swimming) family cards, Exploding Kittens, more reading, lack of washing, and did I mention the reading…? and generally being just a whole lot more manana-ish.

Still, at least my return meant I could use my loyalty card at my local hospital to get my broken toe sorted. Yep, a different one this time. And a story for another day. Suffice it to say, please pray this sun continues because the flip flops will be hanging around for another three weeks.

Weekly Timetables? You thought I was joking!
Now that I'm back, I've thrown myself into my usual pre-September de-clutter. I've talked before about September being my New Year here and this year is no different: the idea of filing and rejecting mounds of paperwork and teaching resources, sourcing and recycling new storage solutions so that I can lay my hands on the surviving papers more quickly, finely tuning my weekly timetables because this year I will make tea before 8pm and I will find time for more coffees with friends and filling out my new Passion Planner (thanks for the tip, Erica!) with an achievable list of to-do's… are almost as exciting to me as the first sip of a Spanish lager outside a sun-licked taverna. 

Almost as exciting.

But I also have LOTS of newness to look forward to. Glass Houses and I are going on tour and I am ridiculously excited about it. Please, please do come and say hello if you possibly can when I'm at a place near you. I promise we will have cakes or chocolate or even both. And books, lots of books:  both Glass Houses and Tea & Chemo.

The tour so far – all welcome!
Monday 5 September from 8pm @ The Bakewell Book & Gift Shop, Matlock Street, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1EE. View their website here
- for a brief talk, Q&A, book signing and a bit of a chat – with coffee and cake (of course).
Saturday 17 September from 2pm @ Blackwell's Bookshop, 21 Blenheim Terrace, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9HJ.
- pop in any time between 2 and 5.30pm for book signing and chat. You'll find me in the Costa café (they insisted) on the first floor. We also plan to host a Q & A session during the afternoon. More on this to follow.

Saturday 15 October from 11am @ Octavo's Book Café and Wine Bar, West Bute Street, Cardiff CF10 5LJ
- Writer in Residence for the day. More details to follow but meanwhile, checkout these cakes!

Date TBC for a Saturday book signing in the gorgeous, The Little Ripon Bookshop

Date TBC for a Saturday book signing @ Harrogate Waterstones, very recently refurbished and now with its own café over-looking the high street. I'm hoping I might be based in there…

Do let me know if you're interested in attending any of the events so I can get excited! 

Meanwhile, a very happy new year to you all :) 


  1. Glad you had a nice holiday. Hope the toe heals nicely. Nope, you're not anywhere near me on your tour, but it does sound awesome and exciting. And I'm a little bit in love with a book shop that's also a wine bar - I thought I'd peeked with a tea shop!

  2. Ahhh Annalisa, I'd so love to meet - watch this space for future venues! And yes, book shop wine bars, what's not to love??


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