Where I come from, people are very friendly. Strangers will chat to each other in the street. We’ll help each other out. Not just because it’s a close-knit place, but because Northerners are generally quite friendly people. Compare my trip to London, where waiters were rude and people stared at us like we had several eyes because we dared to speak on the Tube.
I want to begin by explaining I’ve at this point had my fair share of human crappiness in the past two days. First I was given my first ever parking fine because the wind blew the ticket I’d bought out of my car when I closed the door, and I hadn’t realised. Oh, and the parking attendant stuck it right in the middle of my windscreen, so there was a big glob of ugly sticky glue right in the middle of my line of sight.
Oh, and I’d also left my glasses at work, so there was an extra dosage of “I CAN’T SEE WHERE I’M GOING!” on my journey home on Friday evening.
Safe to say, I was fairly upset, so I paid the fine online (halved, because I paid within 14 days), curled up under my blankie, and watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Netflix.
So, Saturday rolled around, and my friend Laura sent me a message asking if I wanted to go somewhere. Wanting to cheer myself up with good food and good company, I said yes. We journeyed into town and we had a little wander around. Durham is such a beautiful old city.
At this point, I decided to venture towards Waterstones. I admit I had an ulterior motive. I’d emailed the shop a few weeks back enquiring about a book signing, since I’d had no reply from the Newcastle or Gateshead branches. I figured, you know, Durham is rooted in history and myth, it would be a good base.
Went in, spoke to a young lady behind the desk, who was very nice, and she called the manager over. And over trotted this grumpy-looking gent. I gave him my information, I had a copy of the book so he could look up the ISBN. I also pointed out it was available on the Waterstones website. Also, bear in mind, at this point, I was rather cold, hungry, and still a little shaken about the previous day’s event.
After a few minutes (read: about thirty seconds) of deliberation, my precious book was thrust back at my face with the words “Actually, you know what? I think we’ll pass.”
Wow. Okay. Thank you. No “we’ll take your contact details for future reference”, no “thank you for your enquiry but no thank you”. Just a straight up, resounding, NO.
So, understandably, I was confused and a little upset.
We wandered out of the shop and ventured further into town. We went for lunch (Chinese food, of course. It was my cheat-on-the-diet-day), and discussed various bloody punishments we’d like to enact upon those who’d wronged us.
It was getting late, so we headed out to do a last little bit of shopping. Now, whenever I go to Durham, I’d always go to a cute little vintage shop that’s tucked in a little alleyway, a hidden gem, burrowed in a corner that people tend to forget about. It’s been there for years. The smell of the place always lingers with me for days.
I like it there because it is chock-full of beautiful, old, antique jewellery. And, like any good
faery magpie, I’m attracted to sparkly and shiny objects.
We perused the necklace stand for a while, and I found some I liked – mostly amulet-style – and a couple of rings caught my eye too. Purchased them, and we ended up chatting to the ladies who owned the shop. Two of the most delightful ladies I’d spoken to in a long time. After telling them about the rotten time I’d had recently, they gave me a beautiful fern-leaf brooch for free. It’s very pretty, and I didn’t realise, but it has the letters NZ for New Zealand on it.
And of course I plugged my book to them. The young lad in the shop (son, nephew or grandson, perhaps? I’m unsure) ventured over and had a little read of the blurb.
One of the two ladies seemed to feel very strongly about me visiting New Zealand, possibly because of the brooch. I felt as though she’d seen into my future, she was so emphatic about me visiting New Zealand.
After the two encounters of humankind being generally quite awful, I felt lifted after that small amount of kindness. My friend paid for the necklace she’d spotted, and we came home. After a nice cup of tea, we parted, and I felt a lot lighter for having spent a nice day with a good person. It also helps that she was completely on my side about the Waterstones manager, and she’s a Karate master. (Mistress?)
Always good to have powerful friends 🙂
So today, feeling drained but a lot happier, I’ve managed to write up 3+ chapters of Age of Magic. Victory!
Oh, and yesterday, we also discussed various ways of promoting The Old Ways on Laura’s YouTube! I have a list of pop quiz questions, and entertaining forfeits. So, this should be fun! -wicked smile-
She also had a fantastic idea of creating a Sims family of my characters, letting them do their own thing, while we narrate over the top and I talk about the book. I thought that was an excellent idea, so I’m extremely excited for that! Because if there’s anything I love doing, it’s talking about my book.
Better get back to my writing, darlings.