Sunday, 14 July 2013

Hello All,

Your man is standing on the brink of a very full week. Tomorrow morning I'm off to be inspected by the UK Educational Development Agency with a view to being put on their books. They're offering me a go at taking overseas students round the West End Monday week. It's only £10 an hour, but then you've got to take the opportunities that present themselves, and it'll be useful experience. Wednesday sees me taking some UCL summer school students around, showing them some engineering ventures in the City, some successful and some less so. And then on Thursday and Friday it's the Literary London Society's annual conference at Senate House, where I'm giving a paper on apocalyptic threat in Robert Rankin's Brentford Trilogy (don't be fooled; it's seven novels).

Then, on Saturday, it's the great reading and signing of Death and the City, 2:30 at the Sun Inn, Bethnal Green Road. At least, I'm hoping it'll be a signing! I got so caught up with preparations for the UCL walks and this Tower Hamlets course I'm devising that I ordered the books late. Hopefully the ten I ordered at extra-fast delivery will arrive alright; possibly the other ten will arrive in time too. Who knows? If not, I'll still be doing the reading, and handing out leaflets ...

Nothing like living on the edge, is there?

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the sun this week and don't get overheated. It's going to be a scorcher on Wednesday apparently, so spare a thought for your humble servant as he pounds the pavements, as well as the hapless students who struggle to concentrate in the heat.

Health, wealth and happiness,


Monday, 8 July 2013

As the embryonic Charnowalks emerges into the harsh light of day, I am creating an accompanying Blog for fans and friends to follow his adventures on the mean streets of London. Actually they're not that mean: I've lived here all my life, and I've never found them a problem. London is far more welcoming and friendly than people tend to think. You just have to get below that veneer of reserve adopted by us as a defence mechanism. After all, we tend to think that every moment of our day is spoken for and sometimes begrudge those who seek to break our concentration on the next event on the calendar.

Still, that's what people like me are here for: the guides who keep the secrets and tell the tales, and who take you behind the top-show to reveal a city based on people. History is the story of what people have done, and London has plenty of doings to reveal, many a story for you to hear.

This is my maiden post on this blog, but it won't be the last by a chalk as long as your arm. There'll be all sorts of odds and ends coming up, but for now I want to mention just one thing. On Saturday 20 July at 2:30 I will be having a book reading and signing session at the Sun Inn, Bethnal Green Road:

If you come along, not only will you get the chance to sample one of the best pubs in the East End, you'll also hear me reading snippets from my recently-self-published book 'Death and the City'
and a couple of extracts from the new novel, which is going the rounds of the agents as we speak.

If you are interested in guiding btw, and are in striking distance of Shadwell, I am starting a small course about guiding (hopefully the germ of something much bigger) in Tower Hamlets in October, and there is a taster session on 2 August 2013:
(You'll have to go right down to the bottom, which will involve clicking a couple of times on the 'Show more' whatsit.)

Anyway, that's enough for today; I think the sun is affecting me. I must crawl back under my thinking cap and get on with devising fun and interesting walks for the populace.