Scrolling back through my dipdoomagazoo blogs I see I’ve not posted about The Princess of Felling. Why is that? I reckon it’s ‘cos I got wrapped up in the initial publicity gubbins back in April then I concentrated on the various Princess events around the North East. I loved those events! Pie and peas in Tynemouth’s Pie and Bottle Shop, cake and chat in The George Street Social and performing The Princess and the Piano songs with Mike Waller at Newcastle’s Lit and Phil. I’ve enjoyed the Princess events and am gearing up for more from September onwards, including a London gig plus my Princess of Felling Party on Tuesday 8th October Yee hah!
I’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback about The Princess of Felling. I’ve lost count of the times someone has said it’s “brought back memories” and that it’s “well-written.” The book resonates with readers of all ages. As actress and Felling lass Jill Halfpenny says in the book, “Reading Elaine’s stories and poetry takes me back to my childhood in Felling and all of the smells, sounds and tastes of that time. Her words allow me to remember things that I didn’t know I’d forgotten.”
Other comments include:“It’s perfect! I picture it like the Hundred Acre Wood…only in Felling. Just as magic, though.” Another reader said: “Was so tempted to gobble this down in one sitting but forced myself to savour small delightful morsels. Just beautiful. And I’d forgotten all about skinshees!” And another comment: “In parts it’s educational, nostalgic, humorous, sometimes evoking sad memories for me and lovely memories too. The story telling is seamless and impressive; I summed it up as being a delight!”
So why blog about The Princess today? Well I don’t want to spoil the book if you haven’t read it but it has a hero. He’s a real person. He’s Nick Heyward. I adored Nick and his music back in the 1980s. I won’t spoil the book’s narrative but let’s just say we parted company somewhere around 1986 but were reconciled at Stockton’s ARC in summer 2018.
Yesterday I caught Nick performing outdoors in Bent’s Park, South Shields. He was fabulous. He’s got an amazing bunch of musicians around him and together they transported me (and many others, I’m sure) back to the mid 1980s. I was at the front and found myself singing along to all the words. I was lost in music.
There’s a closed Facebook group dedicated to Nick called The Nick Heyward Group Hug. It was good to meet fellow “huggers” yesterday, especially page admin Lisa with the rainbow hair. I have her vibrant locks to thank for guiding me when I arrived at Bent’s Park. I followed her hair and it led me to a front row place. Thanks Lisa and Bernie!
So what am I trying to say in this blog? I guess I’m saying that the past never dies, having a hero matters, even if you are in your late 40s (!) and that it’s lovely to meet virtual pals in the flesh.
Thanks to Nick and co, the huggers and to support band The Breakfast Club for a top afternoon. I’d thank Midge Ure too who took the stage after Nick but I wasn’t concentrating on his songs. I was resting after singing my heart out during Nick’s set. What a Fantastic Day.