Well, how pleased I am that I made the effort to attend the double book launch held on Monday. I had to travel from Ireland and really wondered whether it would be worth it. Thankfully, I pulled myself together and got my butt on the planes and trains. I took a photo from the plane to show the snowy hilltops:
A complimentary glass of wine started the proceedings. Then we were royally entertained by a duo, one on guitar and vocal, the other on flute and sax. They were quite superb and I was happy to be promised some more after the readings. Sadly I can't remember their name but I'm sure Denyse will advise me. I also did a bit of 'mingling', something I wouldn't have had a hope of doing a few years ago. I met other bloggers and we chatted and laughed and drank!
Then it was time for an introduction from Denyse followed by the readings. Denyse is a striking lady with inner strength and beauty, a gorgeous face and very clear voice. Important to me as I am deaf. I wear an aid in my right (best) ear but if people mutter or cover their mouths, I'm lost. Denyse explained some of the problems she has, being an 'Aspie'. How she suffers from sensory overload and has learnt the skills of communication including making eye-contact, 'because that's what people like'. I was fascinated by this and also that she has consciously learnt to modulate her voice to make her public speaking more acceptable.
DJKirby with Christopher I King behind. That light was such a nuisance! I have no idea what setting I had the camera on but the photos were very grainy and dark. I must read the instruction book one day...
The 2 books we had come to see 'launched' are 'From Zaftig to Aspie' by DJ Kirby and 'Motorbikes, ducks and crispy sweet apples' by Christopher I King. I had heard much about DJK's book through her blog and reviews but little about the other book. I knew that the author was very shy and might or might not read at the event. Well, he did and introduced his reading with a quick burst of stand up comedy! He read the Prologue and it was utterly intriguing. Having no idea what the book was about it certainly whetted my appetite and now I am the proud owner of a signed, personalised copy.
DJK followed up by reading an excerpt from 'From Zaftig to Aspie' which I had to have too. Another personalised, signed copy. Gosh, I hope they both become very famous!
I was somewhat worried about the other item on the programme, a rap! Well, as a general rule I hate rap. Casdok had written the words about her son and how he is often treated by the world. We had a copy of them on our table and they were very thought provoking. Then Daren Callow performed it. Wow! It was probably one of the best live performances I have seen in a very long time. He had a little piece of wizardry which he operated with his foot. This thing recorded each little section of music and put it on a 'loop'. Gradually, all the recorded pieces built up into what sounded like an amazing full sized band! All the time Daren was performing the words in between. It was a bit like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time, only ten times more difficult as far as I could see. The thunderous applause went on for quite some while and Casdok had recorded it and had a good cry too! Afterwards, Daren was selling copies of the CD of the Shrek Rap, signed by Casdok and himself, all funds going to Aspberger related charities. They should make quite a bit. Phew! Of course I had to have one...
'Shrek Rap'. Words by Casdok, performed by Daren Callow
I sat beside Helen 'Fiction is Stranger than Fact' Hunt, a lovely lady and then discovered that two of the other bloggers at the table had met my daughter DK and LeatherdykeUK at some book club in Manchester! More chatting ensued. The duo played again. Troy of the 'Wordless Wednesday' captions on DJK's blog was also there, Leigh and Carol 'not only in Thailand' Burns. I should have moved around more but the conversation was too much fun to move. Also there was spare red wine to be had...
I was aware that my last train was at 10.40ish so had to drag myself away. I was very lucky to catch a taxi cab just a few yards up the road or I would never have made it. It turns out the driver was born in Ireland, though you wouldn't have known from his accent. I did catch the train thanks to his speedy driving and had the carriage to myself. I read a good part of Denyse's book on the way back to West Worthing, smiling to myself while reflecting on a most fulfilling and entertaining evening.
Some other photos:
Having a good laugh! I am so worried I will get the names wrong...
I rather liked the clock - The blackboard note says 'Welcome to Roses Vineyard for this Double Book Launch'
Denyse in conversation with Troy (see below) Look at that lovely hair
Troy and Denyse
As I had the carriage to myself...
A couple of young girls did run through the carriage. One of them turned to me and said, 'Wow, I love your hair'. I thanked her of course.
As I hadn't eaten I was pretty hungry and just caught the Turkish restaurant before they closed. Small chicken kebab was a perfect end to a perfect evening.