Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Big in Southend!

It doesn't get any better than this... Took my kids to Southend for a day trip and found my book The Joy of Essex is on the front table at Southend Waterstones above Nanny Pat, Sam Faiers, the Secret Footballer, Peter Ackroyd, and the Sugar Girls. Result. And a nice new cafe at the end of the Pier too - all modernistic and warm, our tea and hot chocolate 1.33 miles out to sea was  followed by a great orange sunset and a giant harvest Moon over Southend...

Monday, 29 October 2012

Essexology on the road

Something of an Essexology-fest yesterday. Appeared on the Iain Dale Show on LBC at 12.30pm discussing my new book The Joy of Essex, managing to bring in Islanders chip shop in Canvey Island, tea dances in Saffron Walden, Paul Simon writing Homeward Bound about returning to Brentwood, the Basilwood sign on the A127 and the Roman arch in Colchester. Then took a taxi with a cabbie from Hornchurch to sell books at the Newham Bookshop stall at Goldsmith's Row in Hackney, near the Columbia Road flower market. Mentioning "Are you from Essex" or "Do you know anyone from Essex?" brought an interesting response from the flower market crowd. Bemusement from Swedish and Danish tourists, a look of horror from arty types and a clamour to buy the book from a Dr Feelgood fan from Barking and David from Chigwell whose daughter recently spotted Spurs' manager AVB in Sheesh. Should hit the target readership next Saturday, as there's a signing at the Newham Bookshop from 3.30pm before the West Ham versus Manchester City game.

Friday, 19 October 2012

A nice Essex dictionary from the Essex Chronicle…Amy Childs may want to talk to the man who wrote it!

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Joy of Essex out soon

My new book The Joy of Essex is published on Oct 30. Featuring my epic climb to the top of the Basildon Hollywood-style sign on the A127, an exploration of Bas Vegas, Lucy off Towie in her boutique, bovine attacks in Canvey Island, Henry Moore and Mr Drew in Harlow, lashings of Tiptree jam, the not very secret anymore nuclear bunker at Kelvedon Hatch, Ken Dodd in Clacton, the first pub in Frinton, Roman arches in Colchester, the most dangerous alley in Romford, Stanford-no-Hope, Phill Jupitus getting wistful about sunshine on Leigh and much much more...

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

In a Pickles over Essex

Eric Pickles, MP for Brentwood, has gone all Towie at the Tory conference, despite being a Yorkshireman. Pickles told the Tory boys and girls: "Now, I’m proud to have been born and bred in Yorkshire, but Essex is my home now.I have been transformed from a Yorkshire TYKE to an Essex TOWIE. My constituency is the location of the television programme The Only Way Is Essex. It’s fun TV and we all enjoy it. But there is another Essex Value that runs deep in the DNA of our Party:- if you work hard, you can go far. It’s a message well understood by Margaret Thatcher, John Major and by David Cameron." Wonder if he'll be going down Sugar Hut soon?

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Grayson's gaff

Grayson Perry is to design a fairytale holiday home that the Guardian describes as "a cross between a wayside chapel and a fairytale gingerbread house" on the Tendring Peninsula. It will overlok the River Stour six miles west of Harwich. Strangely there's no crashed car coming out of the roof, as there is on top of his vase Chelmsford Cissies. It's part of a scheme set up by philosopher Alain de Botton to "introduce holidaymakers to avant garde housing". The Turner Prize winning artist says he wants to get away from the Towie image of Essex girls and make the house a tribute to an Essex woman called Julie who wears purple and is more "in touch with her inner goddess". Not sure what he'll do if Gemma Collins comes along to book it having decided that the only wayside chapel in in Grayson's Essex.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Here's the cover of my new book The Joy of Essex out on October 15. Final proofs just left which is exciting... and note the Essex lion on top of the crest. Click on the link to read the blurb...