A holiday, a holiday, and the first one of the year…
If you know the traditional song, you’ll know that poor Matty Groves met a bad end because of the holiday.
My first (and only) holiday this year was far less bloody, a weekend in rural Suffolk as a participant in Mekonville, the celebration of 40 years of the Mekons, probably my favourite band in the world, one I’ve interviewed and seen many times, and one that started in Leeds.
For me, it was a huge honour and joy to be invited to appear, both with my own set about my books and as part of What Happened At Leeds, about the Leeds Convention of 1917 – Google it, it’s fascinating. Plus, of course, a chance to see the Mekons, both the current band and the 1977 version.
And a chance to stay in a wonderful B&B, an old Victorian rectory set in 10 acres, with its own lake, including a pair of black swans, peacocks, guinea fowl, hens, and sheep. We had some time to explore, walk a little, see old churches. The days were warm and sunny. Until late afternoon – which happened to include my set, which contributed to only a few souls braving the rain to see me. But just being there was enough, to feel part of a family, a community, and see plenty of friends, some of whom I hadn’t had chance to meet in years. A little bit of Leeds in Suffolk.
But the holiday is over now. Back to work. And early next month, The Year of the Gun will be published. It’s the second outing for Lottie Armstrong, set 20 years after Modern Crimes. The big news is that I’ll be doing a blog tour to promote it, thanks to a friend of mine. There will be a book giveaway, so if you want a free copy, it’ll be worth keeping track and entering. Also some special blog posts and more.
Here are the details.
And to round out your day, a blast of the Mekons.