World Book Day: My favourite children’s books

World Book Day comes around every year and as an adult it appears to have very little importance. Other than my colleagues who have spent the week trying to find suitably creative costumes for their children to wear to school that day, for many adults World Book Day comes and goes without any significance. I’ve written before about why I think that should change. However, I recently attended a talk given by a number of booksellers on the theme “the books that made me” and in the limited number they discussed, each of them started with a book from childhood. It got me thinking about the books which had had an impact on me throughout my life so far, but particularly the number of children’s books which had helped to lay that groundwork. View Post

A day in Grasmere

When you live so close to the Lake District, it can be easy to forget what a beautiful place it is to visit. I don’t visit it anywhere near enough, and each time I do I promise myself I’ll be back soon, which usually turns into many months later. The problem is that a lot of the time the weather isn’t fantastic, and when it is it becomes overrun with tourists making the roads busy and parking difficult to find. Luckily, I had the perfect opportunity to visit recently. The skies were blue, it was a weekday and it wasn’t yet the school holidays, so I jumped in the car and headed for Grasmere. View Post

Borderlines Carlisle Book Festival 2016

Surprisingly for someone who is an English Literature graduate, and has enjoyed reading their whole life, I’ve never really been to a book festival. With the exception of York Literature Festival in 2015 where I was a volunteer for a couple of the events, I had never attended one until last weekend. Borderlines Carlisle Book Festival started three years ago, but this was the first year I have been able to attend. Each year I have looked at the line-up, but either haven’t had my interest piqued or wasn’t easily able to get there. This year I was in the area, and looking through the brochure was spoiled for choice. It’s little wonder that this has been its most successful year to date. View Post

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway line is a heritage railway line which runs old diesel and steam engines. I’m not a train enthusiast, but the route sounded interesting, was easily accessible from Bradford (trains run regularly to Keighley direct from Bradford Forster Square) and included a stop at Haworth, somewhere I had visited before but was keen to return. Also, there’s just something pretty exciting about steam engines! As it was, the day out became one of the highlights of our long weekend in Bradford. View Post