Sunday, 6 October 2013

Unbelievably I haven't posted since August: sorry about that, but I've been a little busy ...

Apart from some health problems for Dad (no details - not my story), I've been getting involved in the New Enterprise Allowance scheme to get Charnowalks off of the ground.

My first meeting with my new business mentor went well this Friday morning: he seems to think that I've been approaching things the right way, developing the product before advertising it. Advertising must now become a priority, as well as expanding the more 'populist' aspect of the repertoire - look out for 'Of Commonwealths and Kings', the Westminster walk, as well as 'Red, White and Blue', policing the City (from the red-and-white chequer pattern favoured by the City police, in distinction from the blue-and-white sported by the Met).

A recent highlight was meeting the illustrious Nat Benchley on 21 September. A grandson of the great American humourist (or should that be humorist?) Robert Benchley, Nat is a writer and performer in his own right. We've been e-penpals for some years, but this is the first time we've met, and it was a genuine privilege to show him around the City. Sadly a trip to New York, New York is currently way out of the question, but hopefully before too long I'll get myself across the water.

Another project is Walkie Talkie, an adult education course I've devised which starts on Wednesday 9 October. It cultivates in novice guides and civilians the imaginative art of guiding, and introduces everyone to guiding in Tower Hamlets. The borough has no structured guiding culture, and given that it is an area rich with history and story, this is surprising. It also explains why low-level heritage is so vulnerable: King Cole's eucalyptus tree (look it up!), which once stood proudly, if rather crookedly, in Meath Gardens Park has now been reduced to a stump.

As well as advertising the walks, I must devote more time to advertising Death and the City, which (I am continually reminding people) makes an ideal and inexpensive Christmas present. I will be headlining with it at Red Army Fiction's Hallowe'en special Dead Army Fiction, but must do more. The writing has taken a bit of a drop in priority while I've been building up the walks, but now it must be stepped up the list. Also, the second book of stories will be self-published quite soon: thanks to Ronald Chapman for a really classy pic for the front cover.

Many plates are still spinning, and I mustn't let any fall, but I will try and post much more frequently to let you know of my adventures.