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  1. Today I wore my Asian art historian hat and gave a talk on India at Maidenhood Synagogue. At their request I spoke about 'Everyday India', rather than one of my more focused talks on Indian art and architecture. There was a good turn-out and what a super audience they were! I was instructed to talk for an hour (including questions) but at the end of the alloted time, they asked me twice to keep going. As far as I could see NO-ONE fell asleep! I even managed to switch hats briefly to talk about and make sales of my novels. It was a satisfying afternoon and worth the long drive. Now I have one day to prepare for the launch of Noontide Owls...

     Irenes talk on Indian Art

  2. Last weekend Jennifer (Jay Margrave) and I attended the National Association of Writers' Groups annual conference and award ceremony in Nottingham. Actually I arrived several years too late, since I was invited to the conference in Durham in 2003, having been short-listed for their annual short story prize.

    I declined the invitation as Durham is an awfully long way from Guildford!

    Later the news came that I'd  won the competition and I rather regretted that I hadn't made the effort.

    So I've made up for it now by driving up to Nottingham.  The conference was held at the university and we stayed in college rooms. Took me back to student days. My children's student days, that is. We never had such luxury in mine. The very idea of an en suite bedroom in my Manchester digs...

    This time I wasn't after prizes. My role was to promote Goldenford.  I enjoyed a couple of productive days networking with delegates, promoters and advertisers. Made lots of new contacts, met some lovely people.

    Here we are with our stand. We look like a couple of weird parrots. Must be the lighting.

    NAWG 2011