Do you believe in…

…circles or, put more specifically, in the concept that things are circular in occurrence – sicut erat in principio sort of thing? Yesterday certainly was. This is the week of the London Book Fair [LBF], an international gathering of the book industry at the huge Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London and, as The Book Guild has a stand amidst the sea of others, we decided to pay our ticket price and go. Having parked the car at our local railway station, we were greeted with a cheery blast from Suzanne, who was on her way to the coast to meet a friend for lunch – go for it, girl; it’s never too late to party!

Suzanne blowing a mean bass line on - logically enough - the bass !
Suzanne blowing a mean bass line on – logically enough – the bass !

Suzanne is a school teacher of the deaf and is also an accomplished musician, as are her brother and sister, the trio almost forming a backbone of the musical life of Wadhurst. Anyway, meeting Bubbles started the day of on a grand note and – this is my point – when we returned to Wadhurst some seven hours later, travelled-out and weary, we met her again, all lunched-out. So the day went in a pleasant circle – sicut erat in principio: as it was in the beginning…so it ended!

The LBF was something else, with exhibitors from all around the globe. Proof of the growing importance of China was to be seen in the number of Chinese publishers promoting the work of Chinese authors in their own language, as well as the number of English educational publishers now offering “Teach Yourself” type books on how to learn Chinese/Mandarin. My publisher’s stand did not disappoint and I was somewhat excited (by my usually restrained standards) to see a poster advertising my sequel novels to the two already published (see the top of the photo below).

With Graham Robson on the Book Guild's stand at this year's London Book Fair.
With Graham Robson on the Book Guild’s stand at this year’s London Book Fair.

A totally unexpected bonus was to meet fellow author Ian McFadyen, creator of the Inspector Steve Carmichael novels; the next one is due out early in 2015.

With fellow author IanMcFadyen at the LBF.
With fellow author IanMcFadyen at the LBF.

Follow Ian at this address:

Well done to Carol, Louise, Graham and all the rest of the Book Guild team for all their input towards this year’s LBF.

As if LBF was not enough excitement for one week, the musical airwaves were also alive with the sound of…those little black dots on the five lines!

Wadhurst Brass Band held their annual Spring concert in Wadhurst on Saturday evening and the event was, as usual, very well supported with an audience not that far short of 200. I’m now playing the baritone, which is about ⅔ the size of a euphonium and only about half the weight, but I’ll get used to it. What I found exciting and very rewarding was to see Suzanne’s brother, David (an extremely proficient trombonist), take his first full step down the conductor’s route. He has been given the direction of the training band and Saturday saw his first full directorship of the group’s contribution to the concert. I have encouraged David to conduct a single item with my East Grinstead Concert Band before, but not an entire mini-programme. Back to circles again – at some time or other I taught both David and Suzanne music at high school; on Saturday David left the nest, so to speak, and that made me feel very proud. It’s a long journey to the podium, but at least it’s started. One generation handing over to the next one!

The next generation of musicians. David swapped the trombone for the conductor's batton on Saurday.
The next generation of musicians. David swapped the trombone for the conductor’s baton on Saturday.

On Sunday I was asked to review a concert by the Kent Chorus (with a few guests from the London Orpheus Choir) and Meridian Sinfonia in the rather splendid setting of the Pamoja Hall at Sevenoaks School. The acoustics in the wood-lined auditorium are extremely good, as was the performance of both the Chorus and the Sinfonia. It was an all-Brahms programme, beginning with the St Anthony Chorale Variations, followed by the German Requiem. Great Stuff.

You can read the full review here:





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