On Saturday 4th August 11.00 to 12.30
I will be signing copies on ‘Ancasta ~ Guide me Swiftly Home‘ at:
The Herald Offices, High Street, Hythe
(Not to be confused with Hythe in Kent, this is just over Southampton Water)
It would be great if you could come and say hello, especially if you are in the area and want a break in the fresh air away from the TV screen. (There’s always the red button or video!) After you have, I can recommend a stroll along the front and to the end of the pier or even to the marina. These are wonderful places to view any cruise ships in dock over the water and floating traffic going to and fro along Southampton Water.
I am really looking forward to the trip over on the boat between Southampton and Hythe this Saturday morning too. I haven’t done this trip since I was a with my Grandma as a child, but I have vivid memories, once, of floating quite close to the QE2. Once we arrived I remember the pleasure of catching the little train along the pier and then the anticipation of an ice cream. On the way back we usually walked along beside the train, trying to beat in to its destination, the end of the pier, and I’m sure the gaps of sea between the slats of wood conjure vivid imaginings with many a child even today.
The view of Southampton Docks, the mouth of the River Itchen and then Southampton Water stretching along passing Hamble and on towards the Solent, certainly makes you think of all the travellers and their destinations in far distant places, but to me it also leaves me with a sense of timelessness, as I imagine all of the people who have begun or ended their journeys on this stretch of water over the centuries with records back to before the Roman Times.
Having just got back from Italy I am so aware of the gods and goddesses to whom the Romans prayed and although Ancasta, the Goddess of the River Itchen is little heard of today, I’m sure her name was called to many a time along those shores for the safe return of loved ones and friends.
My novel is not set in Roman times by the way. It is the second novel in the ‘Riduna Series’ based around the Southampton area between 1910 and 1920, although travellers reach The Channel Islands, Turkey and as far as India.
In fact Weston Shore, of our picnic only the night before on 3rd August is just over the water and at 12.30 we are moving on to the Spinnaker Bar at the Calshot Activity Centre, another place steeped in History.