Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A Margate bank holiday and book writing





My parents visited this bank hol weekend and as ever, it went too fast. We had a lovely time though, strolling down to Margate on Sunday and along the harbour arm for a pint of my favourite rhubarb cider.

We ended up in the Old Kent Market which is a big building on the harbour a stone's throw from the Turner which is painted a delicious pillar-box red. Inside is a gallery of small market units.

Downstairs is crammed full of independent eateries like Mexican, south Indian, pies, a vegan juice and salady type place, a bakery and a Caribbean. There's also a mysterious red double decker bus in there (mysterious because there's no doors big enough for it to have got in) and the UK's smallest pub (ok maybe not yet, but it's going for the title) called The Little Prince which is small (can't hold more than six people) but perfectly formed, down to the brassy pumps and stained glass leaded windows.


We sat in there for a few hours drinking yet more cider, whilst Archie made friends with a couple of the stall holders on the first floor of the gallery. One was a wildlife photographer from whom Archie bought a photograph of a baby orangutan and another of a celebes macaque (I know... why?). He enjoyed it though. And the other was a generic handbag stand which sold Archie a decidedly overpriced 'Pokeball' with a little Pikachu inside. I use quote marks because I'm almost 100% sure it wasn't official but it still cost him seven quid.



Whilst there we got talking to a local author called Steve Haughan who has written and self-published a few books, one of which is doing rather well at the moment called 'Peshwari Nans: Beyond the Bucket List' which is about a pair of octogenarian sisters who travel all the way to India in a classic car. He was explaining that he's a builder who left school with no qualifications but obviously harboured a great talent for story-telling as one year he bound a bedtime story he told his sons in to a book for Christmas. He has self-published a number of other books too, and we chatted about the process of self-publishing a book.

They say everyone has at least one book in them, but I told him I was fascinated by those who can actually sit down and get that book out. I would love to write a book one day, but feel I lack the imagination to make up an entire story good enough that other people would want to read it. It's funny because I was only talking to my friend at work the other day about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and how I've a friend who has taken part for the last five years or so. I would love to do NaNoWriMo but it'll have to wait til I have finished my degree as I definitely couldn't commit to writing over 1600 words a day for the whole of November to meet the 50,000 word count.

I discovered that there is also another website called Camp NaNoWriMo which is a very similar project which runs through the month of August instead, with online 'workshops' leading up to August to help you prep and plan your novel. That might work!

In the mean time I guess it would be a good idea to concentrate on my impending second year at uni, which I'm ready to get stuck in to now. I have bought myself a new lever arch file and everything ;-)

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