Archive by Author

Staying calm with Linda Blair

17 May
Linda Blair

Linda Blair

Deep breath and OMMMMM….

At least that was what I was expecting during last night’s session with Linda Blair on mindfulness, but that didn’t happen. Linda is a clinical psychologist based in Bath who has written The Key to Calm, a book on how we can bring more calm in our world. Her approach is much more about being aware of yourself and your surroundings rather than finding a way to escape from it. And it seems like the world needs it; I was surrounded by a packed out audience of stressed out men and women, all looking for advice on how to manage their lives better. Linda has really positive energy and a we-can-do-it attitude made better by her Southern American accent and I’ll put my hand up and admit I was one of the first to yawn as I relaxed in her presence. I was also quite anxious as everyone in the audience seemed to have a pine cone in their hand. Why did they all have pine cones and I didn’t? Was there something special about the people with pine cones? Were they the chosen ones? Why wasn’t I offered a pine cone, etc? Continue reading

Sandi Toksvig at the Swindon Festival of Literature

6 May
Sandi Toksvig with Matt Holland

Sandi Toksvig with Matt Holland

I do love a good book event. The interviewer and interviewee on stage in comfortable chairs, normally with a table between them. Sometimes there are flowers and glasses of water. There’s always a pull-up thing behind them advertising something else. And last night I got the chance to see Sandi Toksvig in action, doing what she does best, talking at a hundred miles an hour on a myriad of subjects from being short to the King of Sweden. Her latest book, Peas and Queues, is about manners and how to behave properly. Apparently, Sandi got the idea from chastising her daughter who was eating with her elbows on the table. Sandi told her to get her elbows off, her daughter asked her why. She had no idea why. The book topic suits Sandi with her clipped, upper-class accent; I expect her to be a font of all knowledge onthings like this. Her accent tells me so. Continue reading