Posts Tagged ‘Sussex’


February 8, 2023

Sussex from the air a patchwork quilt of fields, hedges and woodlands.

The Taxidermist’s Daughter

October 17, 2014

Kate Mosse books

Kate Mosse books

Kate Mosse book signing

Kate Mosse book signing

We will each write a ghost story. — Lord Byron

I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion. — Mary Shelley

A natural story teller.

Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel are based on historical fact set in France, important to get the historical facts right, which necessitates a lot of research.

In France, Kate Mosse unknown, thus known for what she was, a writer. She had written books before, but only family had read. To see people, strangers, reading Labyrinth, was a delight.

Writers, write to be read. They want to share their thoughts with others.

The Taxidermist’s Daughter was an interlude, a pleasant break. A thriller, a Gothic thriller, no need to check facts.

A Gothic thriller in the mould of The Castle of Otranto, The Mysteries of Udolpho, The Monk, Frankenstein, Dracula.

You cannot understand or appreciate Northanger Abbey, without having read Ann Radcliffe. It is also self-referential with her gullible heroine, Catherine Morland, being handed a copy of The Mysteries of Udolpho to read. The original is vastly superior to its parody.

There is currently an exhibition of Gothic literature at the British Library.

The Taxidermist’s Daughter is set in Sussex, gloomy marshland, a river estuary, very much the setting found in The Moonstone. The seed, the gem of an idea, a museum, no longer there, in Arundel.

What are ghosts, are they something out there, or something within us? Or maybe both but we have tried to rationalise out of existence?

Odd, some readers want to know what happens to characters after the end of a book.

Kate Mosse stressed the importance of supporting indy bookshops. Ironic then Guildford Book Festival has ditched One Tree Books and this year the Festival book supplier was WHSmith. A High Street chain that does nothing for books, hated and despised by book lovers.

One Tree Books used to have a wonderful display of books in the Electric Theatre during the book festival, you could talk to them about books. Sadly not WHSmith. They could not even be bothered to mount a display in their own bookshop. Nor was there any mention of the book festival in their stores in neighbouring towns.

WHSmith a huge mistake. Hopefully not to be repeated next year. Or if is, buy your books elsewhere and bring them along for signing.

Amazon often get the blame for killing off indy bookshops. It is not Amazon. It is chains like WHSmith, that not only destroy indy bookshops, but also destroy our town centres.

WHSmith is to books, what McDonald’s and KFC is to food and Costa and Starbucks is to coffee.

Indy bookshops need our support. Guildford Book Festival should be setting the example.

Guildford Book Festival 12-19 October 2014 at venues in and around Guildford.

Climate Camp – South Coast 2011

April 30, 2011

Resurrection for the Insurrection
23rd April — 1st May
Location: St. Anne’s School, Lewes

Imagine another world. A world where people matter, where the outstanding issues of the day, climate change, community resilience and workers rights are addressed and we can look forward to a more radical and sustainable future.

Imagined it? Good. Now come to the South Coast Climate Camp this Easter and help us build it.

The South Coast Climate Camp is popping up in Sussex to highlight the climate criminals along our coastline. We have drilling for oil in the South Downs National Park, an agrofuels plant proposed for Shoreham Harbour, proposed airport expansion and of course the incinerator in Newhaven.

All this climate criminality not only adds to the outrageous levels of greenhouse gases spewing into the atmosphere, it also despoils our National Parks and generally charming countryside. It ain’t right. Something needs to be done.

The South Coast Camp for Climate Action will take place from the Easter weekend through to the May Day celebrations somewhere on the beautiful South Downs in Sussex. Through living, eating and working together, we hope the camp will act as a positive catalyst for change, transforming both the camp community and the communities around it.

We aim to create a safe space where people can meet, share ideas, plan actions and then go do them.

At the end of the week we shall, as tradition dictates be taking part in a mass action. This will form part of Brighton’s May Day celebrations where many direct action groups from around the country are converging in the seaside resort for a very special day of direct action.

Workshops are invited from, UK Uncut, Plane Stupid, SolFed, Smash EDO, No Borders, Grow Heathrow, Transition Towns, the Rebel Clown Army and many more. Skill shares will be held on permaculture, guerilla gardening, workers rights and tactics of resistance, cooking, building rocket stoves, bee keeping & community organising: among other stuff.

We will share the knowledge and experience we have gathered over many years with local community groups to leave a lasting legacy: a truly radicalised community. The camp itself is just the sowing of the seed.


Produced by “You and I Films”

Well done Climate Camp for seizing this site.

Easter Sunday in Brighton

April 24, 2011

Brighton beach Easter Sunday April  2011

Brighton beach Easter Sunday April 2011

A lovely sunny day in Brighton.

We seem to have skipped Spring and gone straight to Summer.

Tuesday last week it was 26 degrees in London. Friday it hit 27 degrees, well ok, 26.9 if you wish to be accurate. Saturday it was 28 degrees at Wisley Gardens just outside Guildford, the hottest April Day since 1948!

Two weekends ago it had been hot, I had thought of going to Brighton. The following day I think it was the Independent showed Brighton beach packed.

Sunday I decided I would go to Brighton. Yes, it would be hot, but there were no rail works.

I arrived at Brighton Station a little after midday, to find as I walked out of the station I had walked straight into a police kettle and they were not going to let me go. [see Kettled in Brighton]

It was then announced we were being escorted to Victoria Gardens. I was already being unlawfully detained, now it seemed I was to be kidnapped.

Kettles have been ruled illegal, to only be used in exceptional circumstances, but it seems that has not yet filtered through to the Boys in Blue in Brighton. Luckily I was able to slip through a gap in the police lines.

I called in on Grocer and Grain, then continued on down to the seafront but not without first encountering an EDL demo, a bunch of chanting morons. Luckily this time I was not kettled.

The seafront was packed. I walked along to the derelict West Pier, then back to Brighton Pier, but it was too packed to walk along the pier.

I noticed on the seafront there was to be a performance of a Passion Play starting at 4pm. I was not sure if I would be back in time as by now I was very hungry and was heading to North Laine for something to eat.

After eating and wandering around North Laine, though by now almost everywhere was closed, I found the Brighton Farm Market was open, not usually open on a Sunday, but by now all the stalls were finished. I was told it was now a regular feature that it was open on Sundays which I thought was excellent news.

One thing I like about Brighton are the murals.

I was very pleased to see that Resident in North Laine had been declared the Best Record Store in the Country, as it and Ben’s Records in Guildford are two of the best record shops in the country.

And please everyone, do not forget to vote for Grocer and Grain and Iydea (where I had late lunch) in the Brighton Food Awards.

I got down to the seafront hoping to catch the last half hour of the Passion Play. It was 6-30pm and the beach and seafront were still very busy. Sadly I found the Passion Play had finished early and I did not see any of it. Overhearing snatches of conversation it was apparently very good.

Before the Passion Play was performed, critics had attacked it as ‘tasteless and bloodthirsty’, not suitable for the seafront or to be shown before children. Leaving to one side they had not seen it, they seem to have lost the point of Easter. Maybe they thought it was about bunny rabbits and chocolate Easter eggs.

Brighton seafront crucifixion play comes under fire
1,000 people watch Brighton’s first Passion Play
The Passion Of Christ, Seafront, Brighton, April 24

Once the sun had gone down I expected it to turn cold, but to my surpise it didn’t, it was very warm and balmy as though a hot summer’s evening. Last time it was like this was mid-summer. Looking out to sea I saw something I had never seen before. The sea was calm and the surface as flat as a mill pond. All day it had been misty and it was still very misty.

Synchronicity: On the train home there were two females talking, one was talking about encountering angels. I did what I would not normally do, I went over and spoke to the one talking about angels and said you may be interested in this book and wrote for her The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho. I did not say any more to her as the train was pulling into her station, they thanked me and got off. When I got home and checked twitter, I found I had a message from Paulo Coelho referring to The Valkyries. The time at which it was posted was when I spoke to the girl on the train! [see President Obama quotes “The Valkyries” by Paulo Coelho]

Day Out in Brighton

September 10, 2010

Brighton Pier

Brighton Pier

Tuesday of last week I decided that if it was nice weather at the weekend I would spend the day in Brighton on the Sunday. At the weekend the weather forecast decided it for me, the weather was rapidly deteriorating, thus off down to Brighton I went on Sunday morning.

Walking down to the seafront, my eye was caught by a display outside a shop a couple of minutes from the station. I went over to investigate and was glad I did as I found Grocer and Grain, a delightful food store. I spent about an hour or more there chatting to Hakan.

My plans to walk down to the seafront pleasantly disrupted I walked into North Laine and had an excellent lunch at Iydea, my dessert a blueberry and raspberry cake from Grocer and Grain.

Eventually late afternoon I did manage to get down to the seafront. A crab sandwich from Jack and Linda Mills who I caught as they were closing.

Walking along the seafront I was lucky to pick up from the bookstall by the derelict West Pier two Jamie Oliver cookbooks, Jamie’s Dinners and Jamie’s America. I was tempted by the Paulo Coelho books, but I decided next time as I had too much to carry.

By the time I wandered along Brighton Pier the sun had long gone down and the pier was all but deserted. It was then time to wander back up to the station and go home.

I wish my lovely friend Sian had joined me as she would have enjoyed a day by the seaside. I also missed my lovely Czech friend Iva who I used to meet for a day together in Brighton.

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