Hard to believe that a year ago I was in London with publisher pal Angie. We spent Friday 1st November strolling around Fitzrovia and gearing up for that evening’s London launch of my illustrated poetic memoir, The Princess of Felling.

The launch was held in the upstairs of the Rugby Tavern in Bloomsbury. I hadn’t factored in Friday night, payday, Rugby World Cup and an early fireworks display in neary Coram’s Fields. The pub was packed and I had to project my voice over the sounds of the crowd and the fireworks.

Ah but what a night. I saw friends old and new, including one who is no longer with us. I’m thinking of her today on All Saints’ Day and will continue to reflect on her generous heart tomorrow, All Souls’ Day.

I miss performing in front of an audience. Who knows when I’ll be able to read in front of a crowd again but at least I can say I’ve tried Zoom. Last night I read a spooky story to families logged onto Bowes Railway Museum’s Halloween night. I won’t bore you with the prepping deets (inevitable script changes, borrowing a laptop and mic) or the last-minute run throughs from my home on the North East coast and the organiser’s house in County Durham.


I’m not a Halloweeny type of gal. I don’t dress up or decorate my house. I suspect the sight of me on Zoom was frightening enough for the young attendees and their families. It was fun and I am up for performing at future Zoom events.

Of course, as we logged on to Zoom, Boris Johnson was scaring the nation with the details of Lockdown v.2. Remember Remember the Fifth of November…Boris, how can we forget?

After my Zoom performance I relaxed with wine and Saturday evening telly: Strictly then a docmentary on recently-departed Calendonian soul, Sean Connery. The BBC2 documentary kept returning to an episode of Parkinson from 2003 featuring Connery, actor Ricky Tomlinson and Boris Johnson. Boy, I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the green room when the three guests talked Scottish nationalism, left-wing political activism, naked political ambition, women and James Bond.