Monday, 14 May 2018
Guernsey and Jersey
I'm back home, briefly, after a trip to the Channel Islands, one of my favourite destinations. Originally, I was asked to give a library talk in Jersey, and this led in due course to a similar invitation from the library in Guernsey; that in turn prompted the organisers of Guernsey Literary Festival to get in touch. So in the space of a couple of hectic days, I undertook three events on two islands and met a good many pleasant people.
I was even given the bonus of a short sightseeing trip around the west coast of Guernsey, with a chance to see the little off-shore island of Lihue as well as to visit an ancient cavern steeped in myth and legend. Then it was off to St Peter Port, and a workshop on crime writing at Les Cotils, with a group which included, to my surprise and delight, that excellent blogger Harriet Devine. I've not run many workshops, but this one was so interesting that I'm tempted to do them more regularly.
On Friday evening I gave a talk about The Golden Age of Murder at Guernsey Library, and also had the chance to catch up with fellow crime writer Jason Monaghan (who sometimes writes as Jason Foss) and the editor of The Golden Age of Murder, David Brawn, whose presence on the island was a delightful coincidence. The three of us had dinner together after the talk, a convivial end to a rather long day.
It was up early again to take the short flight to Jersey, with a chance to look around St Helier before I gave another Golden Age talk to an excellent audience. After dinner I headed back to my hotel and promptly went to sleep for eleven hours: tiredness rather than too much to drink, I can assure you! But next morning I managed to fit in a little more sightseeing before catching the flight back to Manchester.
I've visited the Channel Islands six or seven times over the years, and each time I find something new and intriguing about them. On my last visit, I even planned out a short story set in Alderney, though I fear that it still remains unwritten. One of these days I do hope to get round to writing a mystery set on one of the islands. In the meantime, I'm very grateful to those who looked after me so well during my whistle-stop tour, and I'm very much looking forward to my next trip there - which will be in September, for the Jersey Literary Festival.