Sunday, 6 September 2015

Brought To Book

WHEN we get a bit too big for our boots, life has a way of tripping us up. The only thing to do, of course, is struggle up again, dust yourself down and carry on - now wiser and warier than before.

Writer and journalist Dave Hadfield knows all about boots and hitting the ground hard, being a highly respected rugby league reporter for The Independent newspaper and Sky TV.
Now semi-retired, Dave has turned his sharp wit and pen - so to speak - in different directions. His first non-rugby book, All The Wrong Notes, chronicled his 'adventures with unpopular music'. Now, despite suffering from Parkinson's Disease, he has used his new bus pass to travel around England - with thoughtful observations and often hilarious incidents.
The resulting book was Route 63 (Dave's age), which was launched in Blackpool this month by northern publisher Scratching Shed. The event was at the Velvet Coaster, Wetherspoon's latest and most stunning venue in the resort, on New South Promenade near the Pleasure Beach.
The 'Bill Bryson of Bolton', as my old friend and former colleague Dave was billed, sparkled against the bright backdrop of the famous Golden Mile Illuminations along the coast's Promenade.
My own book launches in the past were hindered by less dazzling diversions. At the first, in a book store in nearby Lytham, a shelf display fell on a woman in the front row; my second, at a market town's library never got going - being quietly shelved after I'd discreetly asked about expenses. Finally, at remote Knott End Library overlooking Morecambe Bay, the place remained closed as its librarian had crashed her car rushing to open up for my reading. When replacement librarians were ferried from Fleetwood, a dog tied up outside the library howled whenever I tried to speak. Mind you, I never did like public speaking and have now gratefully ceased.
Still, as autumn draws in, we can all enjoy reading - even my ageing but plucky mother-in-law Wynne. The nonagenarian has just undergone an operation at London Eye Clinic and soon hopes to read again for the first time in years. (See our Memoir page - for a Hero's Return from Wynne.)
Reading opens our minds to other views of the world, reminding us what matters most in life and, hopefully, enhancing our own.
Such truths are worded better by others on our Poem page, while we hope you enjoy our Story/Chapter and Books pages.
Books are available in Kindle or paperback sponsored by the British Arts Council and purchases support this non-profit-making website.
 So, read on, and turn over a new leaf for autumn! 

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