Writing prompt – mural

Easton, Stapleton Road Mural cr Judy DarleyThis gorgeous mural is at Stapleton Road Station in Easton, Bristol. It’s a fantastic work of art, offering a vivid impression of this area throughout the decades, and a glimpse of the people who’ve passed through it in that time.

For this week’s writing prompt I invite you to bring this mural to life – you can either do as though these people are real, and create a story for one of them, or play with the idea of the mural itself. Might a commuter find themselves drawn to look at it occasionally while awaiting their train? And might they discover the portraits shifting from day to day?

If you create something prompted by this, please let me know by sending an email to judydarley(at)gmail.com. With your permission, I’d love to share it on SkyLightRain.com.

Book review – Chantemesle by Robin Fedden

Chantemesle by Robin FeddenI picked up this slender volume in a charity shop and discovered within it all the riches of a sun-dazed, free-roaming childhood. It’s a perfect read for summer, particularly if you’re at all nostalgic for the days when holidays seemed to last forever and the greatest joy was heading out into the woods or fields with no plan to be home before teatime.

In Chantemesle: A Normandy Childhood, Fedden has captured the wonder and beauty of his years as a boy, exploring the land and river close to his parents’ Normandy house, where “adders basked in the sun”, “owls and redstarts nested”, and “anemones and orchids flourished on the chalk soil.” A keen passion for and knowledge of the area’s flora and fauna are shored up by Fedden’s ability to bring to the surface the innocence and curiosity of his young self.

The freedom of this time is deliciously evocative, as Fedden traverses land and river alike, finding both peace and adventure “In the sinulous channels that lead from one island to another,” and magic in the dense forest, where a mysterious castle appears and disappears according to the light, and a well throws back reflections of Fedden that he barely recognises as his own.

Continue reading

A literary afternoon tea

The Square book launchDid you know there’s an annual Afternoon Tea Week in the UK? Me neither! Happily, it’s just around the corner (Aug 10th-16th) and seems to be inspiring all kind of folks, from restaurateurs to authors.

Author Rosie Millard is taking full advantage of the timing with a combined book launch and afternoon tea. What a lovely idea!

On 13th August, she’ll be hosting a Literary Afternoon Tea at the Conrad St James hotel in London, where you can tuck into scones, cakes and other treats while listening to Rosie read from her new new novel The Square. Sounds heavenly.

Publishers Legend Press describe The Square as: “a comic romp featuring the bored, overprivileged and vain London bourgeoisie. Full of controversy, gossip, affairs and drama, this book is a fantastic summer read.”

You’ll be able to find out if you agree, as all attendees receive a complimentary signed copy.

Tickets are available from www.afternoontea.co.uk