Library Shop Christmas Shopping Evening

Library Shop Christmas Shopping Evening

The Library Shop, in Swindon Central Library, invites you to a special Library Shop Christmas Shopping Evening. Here’s your opportunity to buy unique and locally made gifts this Christmas for your family and friends.

Featuring artists in residence, local authors and face painting and much, much more besides.

Library Shop Christmas Shopping Evening

When is it?

Tuesday, 26 November 2019 from 18:00-20:30

Here’s the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/697342314116882/

I’m giving this event a brilliant Born again Swindonian shout-out because I’m going to be there in support and signing the books that I’ve penned in recent months and that the library shop sell.

Published in 2018 there’s Secret Swindon. Then I have two further books in the shop, both published this year:

  1. Swindon in 50 Buildings: https://swindonian.me/my-publications/swindonin50buildings/
  2. The Ken White retrospective – the book written by me about Ken and his rather interesting career. More information on the Ken White Retrospective here.

And there’s more

Other Swindon creatives with stock in the library shop will also be joining in the jingling festive fun.

Dona Bradley, who has lots of wonderful items from her artistic output for sale in the library will be there. Read more about Dona Bradley architectural illustrator here.

So too will my chum Simon Webb – AKA His Nibs – he who makes wonderful pens and cufflinks from historic timbers. Read more about Simon and his hand-turned pens and cufflinks here.

Library Shop Christmas Shopping Evening
Library Shop Christmas Shopping Evening
Jamie Martin: The Anomaly Crystal

Jamie Martin: The Anomaly Crystal

I’ve already had the pleasure to feature Lis McDermott, in her authorial capacity, in this Made in Wiltshire section of Born again Swindonian. And in this post, it’s my delight to feature Jamie Martin and his novel, The Anomaly Crystal.

Despite the fact that I’ve now got three non-fiction books, and this blog, well and truly under my belt, I am in awe of anyone that can write fiction. I have neither the imagination nor the staying power for that. And I’m not ‘just saying’ that. I know my limitations and fiction writing is it.

About Jamie’s Book – ISBN: 978-1-4990-9428-2

The Anomaly Crystal is described as an action-packed, science fiction, fantasy war story. This epic tale spans 200 years and is spun from the gripping issues of ancient sorcery and armed conflict upon a mysterious planet. 

If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, you’ll find an extract on Google books here: http://bit.ly/1FuRVHD

Says Jamie about his book


Say’s Jamie about his book: ‘I drew my inspiration for this novel from my own interest in the science fiction and fantasy genre – one that I enjoy a great deal in both film and book form.

I wanted to create my own story within the genre for others with the same interests. Besides which, I’d long harboured an ambition to write a book. That motivation and my passion sustained me the three years or so that it took for me to complete The Anomaly Crystal. You see what I mean about needing stickability?

The Anomaly Crystal is the first in a series. The novel’s storyline spans a period of approximately 200 years. It features a great war between the humans and a creature race that live upon a mysterious planet. Within this timeframe, a supernatural artefact called ‘the anomaly crystal‘ that releases elemental magic was created to affect the outcome of this war.’

Jamie Martin: The Anomaly Crystal - book cover

See a trailer for the novel here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Nn_inO4Nkr8

The book is available in paperback and also in audio book form here on Xlibris.Com They say about the book:

‘The outcome from a destined great war between humans and creatures will be decided by the courage and emotions of a few honourable and worthy individuals. Raven is the last blood line descendent from the greatest wizard known as Grackle, and he has found himself living in a time of endless uncertainty, magic and sorcery between the humans and a terrifying creature race residing upon the mysterious Planet of Phoenix. Significant emotional elements, bravery, hatred and love are the fundamental factors for either the humans or the creatures surviving existence during this epic adventure.’

Where to buy Jamie’s Book

To order a copy of this novel, please see links below. Otherwise contact Jamie directly to receive a copy:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-anomaly-crystal-jamie-martin/1121505778

http://www.bookdepository.com/Anomaly-Crystal-Jamie-Martin/9781499094282

Jamie and the book on social media

Jamie has a Facebook page for the book here: https://www.facebook.com/theanomalycrystal

Correct Careers Coaching

To check Jamie out in his other life as Correct Career’s Coaching you can find that here.

Should you want to contact Jamie directly about his book you’ll find him on 07599 332178 and on Jamie@correctcareerscoaching.com

Happy reading!

A Good Man and a Brave Man

A Good Man and a Brave Man

Swindon Civic Voice seem to be something of a literary lot. Chair Angela Atkinson, aka Born again Swindonian, is now the author of three Swindon related books – the second of which – Swindon in 50 Buildings is out now. But she’s not on her own! Oh no. One of their trustees, Alan Gaunt, can also claim authorship as a a thing with his book, A Good Man and a Brave Man.

A Good Man and a Brave Man

‘This is not the story of a traditional hero in the mould of Nelson or Wellington but that of a village shepherd, a local man who did not come from the nobility or the ranks of the nation’s leaders but simply loved his family and died in the service of his country.’

Cecil Packer was a farm labourer, a factory worker, a shepherd and a devoted family man. Like so many others he went to France to fight for his country in the First World War and never returned. Cecil survived both the Gallipoli and Somme campaigns. So for his descendants, his death on the Western Front when his battalion was far from the front line was a mystery as well as a tragedy.

Alan Gaunt, whose wife Shirley is Cecil’s great-granddaughter, set about researching Cecil’s humble but interesting life and finally established the tragic circumstances of his accidental death in December 1916, aged 31.

Cecil Thomas Packer was born in 1885 in Minty, Wiltshire and grew up in Poole Keynes, Gloucestershire. He enlisted in 1915 in Cirencester and served with the 8thService Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment. He died on 13th December 1916 in Flanders.

he book is a moving account of a humble man who fought for King and Country, and will appeal to all those with an interest in military and social history; local historians (in Gloucestershire/Wiltshire) as well as anyone who wishes to research their own family history.

About the author

Author, Alan Gaunt was born in Salisbury (Wiltshire) and grew up in South Cerney(Gloucestershire). He was educated in Cirencester and, later, in Bushey (Herts). He is a retired Civil Servant. Alan is married (with two grown-up children) and lives in Swindon.

By the same author:

A QUIET AUTHORITY – George Gaunt: A life (2013 Mereo Books).

George Gaunt was a quiet and gentle man who served with honour in the Coldstream Guards. George became a respected publican in a Gloucestershire village, and the entire community mourned his early passing. Thirty years later, his son Alan learned that George had been married before and had two other children. Alan set off on a trail of enquiry to piece together a comprehensive and fascinating account of the father he had lost when he was only 13 years old. This book is the result of Alan’s research and tells the story of his father and how Alan learned about his half-brother.

See also by Alan: https://www.swindoncivicvoice.org.uk/2019/11/ron-spencer-cerneys-hero-policeman/

Final push for Beat the Street in Swindon

Final push for Beat the Street in Swindon

Players of Beat the Street are being encouraged to make one final push to see how far the town can travel.

See also: https://swindonian.me/2019/09/13/beat-the-street-is-back/

Taking place until 6 November, the game has once more transformed the town into a giant game. One where residents are rewarded with points and prizes for walking, cycling or scooting around their community, tapping Beat Boxes along the way.

Final push for Beat the Street in Swindon - last year's winners with mayor Kevin Parry
Last year’s winners Ferndale Primary School

Way more than 500 miles

Residents have already travelled an incredible 217,000 miles so far in the competition. However, with a mere one week left, players are encouraged to push themselves even harder to see how far Swindon can go and if players can beat last year’s record-breaking total of 313,353 miles.

Schools, community groups and workplaces are battling it out for the chance to win prizes of up to £200 in vouchers for books, sports or fitness equipment.  

The team currently topping the total points leaderboard is Haydonleigh Primary School. Their 956 team members have travelled more than 12,000 miles so far.

However, everything could change at the top of the 16 leaderboards as this week’s theme is ‘Go Celebrate’ and every Beat Box in the game will be giving out double points until 6 November.

Additionally, all Beat Boxes will give out triple points on the final day until the game ends at 7pm.

The winners will be announced shortly after the competition ends.

Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “We’re already seeing the top schools and teams in Beat the Street going the extra mile as we enter the final part of the competition. With the chance to score double and triple points during the final week, all teams have the chance to climb the leaderboards and take home one of the top prizes.

“It would also be a bonus if we could beat our record-breaking total from last year. So let’s get out there and get tapping!”

Visit app.beatthestreet.me/swindon to keep up to date with the leaderboards and to find out more.

No 4: Prosecco

No 4: Prosecco

On a recent night out at The Weighbridge Brewhouse, down near the Outlet Centre, one of my dining companions and myself decided to have a glass of Prosecco. Which gave me the perfect opportunity to do this post, No 4 Prosecco, in my series Swindon in 50 drinks.

The Prosecco served in The Weighbridge is from Berry Bros and Rudd see image below. And it wasn’t a bad drop I have to say.

They also serve a rather nice Berry Bros and Good Ordinary Claret – of which I’m rather fond.

The Prosecco served at the Weighbridge

The Rise and Rise of Prosecco

It’s interesting how, in recent years, Prosecco has blown the Spanish Cava out of the wine rack when we’re looking for a more wallet-friendly celebration drink than Champagne. Something I wrote about in this piece: https://swindonian.me/2018/05/16/the-prosecco-party/

‘Prosecco, like it’s big sister, Champagne, takes its name from its place of origin. In this case the village of Prosecco, a suburb of Trieste. Even if you knew that you may not know that, as this Vine Pair blog all about the stuff points out, ‘the name ‘prosecco’ is actually Slovenian, from prozek, or “path through the woods.” Prior to being called Prosecco, the region was known as Puccino. Today, Prosecco production extends beyond the small village, but that’s where it all began.

DOC and DOCG

DOCG and DOC are quality classifications. Italian wine law states that DOCG – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantia –  is the highest quality designation.

DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata – is an Italian assurance of quality for wine and food. To get this label a product must stick to the quality assurance rules and the location defined in the rules. Since 2009 Prosecco has had to have at least DOC accreditation.

The difference between Champagne, Cava and Prosecco

For the full lowdown on the above read this blog here: https://www.myrecipes.com/extracrispy/whats-the-difference-between-prosecco-champagne-and-cava but the key thing to remember is that for a sparkling wine to call itself Champagne it HAS to be made in the Champagne region of France with the Méthode Champenoise – thought to be the invention of a monk by the name of Dom Perignon. And later refined by the widow (veuve) Cliquot. Two names that remain the most famed of all the Champagne houses. I’ll drink to that!

Unlike Champagne, which is fermented in giant metal vats, Prosecco is fermented in the bottle in a process called the charmat method.

And on that note, there’s little else to say other than Cin Cin, Salut, Cheers and Salud!

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