Monday, July 6, 2015

A grand day out in Fife

I saw the sea this weekend. Also hills, an ancient abbey, a square rigged sailing ship and a lot, really a lot, of motorway.

On Saturday (4th July) I had two book signings in Fife: one at Waterstone's in Kirkcaldy and the other at Waterstone's in Dunfermline. This was a fairly straightforward trip - except my husband was spending the day in Dundee as part of a Mountain Rescue team organising a charity abseil off the top of the dental hospital. And we only have one car. So my itinerary for the day took in not only Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline but Perth and Dundee! Anyway, although we set off in torrential rain in the morning, by lunchtime Fife was bathed in glorious sunshine, so it was actually rather nice to spend the day on a road trip. My teen daughter came with me, because she loves car drives and bookshops. At Waterstone's in Kirkcaldy she was offered chocolate chip cookies too, so I think her cup of joy pretty much overflowed.

I'd been to Dunfermline fairly recently, to visit the Abbey (well worth a visit - it's beautiful), but I'd only ever been to Kirkcaldy once before, years ago, when my kids were small. On that occasion we went to see Scottish kids' show The Singing Kettle. The show had a deep sea theme and as it was shortly after Finding Nemo came out, my kids both demanded to dress up as clownfish. I mainly remember tearing my hair trying to think of a way of making clownfish costumes! Anyway, after Saturday's visits, my daughter and I have vowed to visit both places again soon. We'd love to see Ravenscraig Castle, and my daughter would like to go around Dunfermline Abbey, as she wasn't with me last time.

Both branches of Waterstone's were extremely welcoming and had obviously put some thought into where to locate visiting authors, etc. Particular thanks to Alice at the Kirkcaldy store, who was absolutely brilliant and a super supportive host, and Ilse at Dunfermline, with whom I had some great chats about living abroad and the Dutch language (Veerle, the heroine of my Forbidden Spaces trilogy, is a Dutch speaker).
It was great to be so well looked after. Authors, if you are invited to either of these stores, take the opportunity and go if you can!

I very much enjoyed chatting to book lovers at both stores, and doing a bit of sneaky people-watching in quieter moments. I had to laugh about the man who came into one of the shops, asked me whether I was an author, and then said he never read books! I wonder what he was doing in a bookshop? I also smiled inwardly at the elderly lady who lingered for a long time outside the store, eyeing the display of 50 Shades of Grey books, and then came inside, looking distinctly furtive... Meanwhile, a big TSK TSK to the young man who saw his friend trying to come into the shop and pulled him outside again!

Thanks to those who chatted with me, and those who bought books. If anyone local to either of the stores would like a signed copy of any of my Forbidden Spaces books, there is a limited number of them at both Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline.

After the second signing, my daughter and I drove to Dundee to collect my husband, stopping off briefly in Perth to get something to eat. It sounded as though he had had a hair-raising day; for a large part of it, he was the team member actually at the edge of the roof of the hospital, gazing down at the grisly drop to the street below. The building is 150 feet high, which is frankly further off the ground than I like to be. We picked him up in front of the sailing ship Discovery, and I made him drive home.  Daughter and I had enjoyed our girls' road trip, but sometimes it's nice to sit in the passenger seat and vegetate!

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