You don’t have the slightest interest in what I, or anyone else, did on their holidays but please bear with me – there is a literary slant to what I have to say, plus it saves me having to write a book, which I did in 2013 and 2021.
This year we drove from the Midlands to Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway. En route we stopped for coffee in Sedbergh: England’s Official Book Town. Sedbergh is a small place where many of the independent shops have added the sale of secondhand books to their wares. The big attraction for me was Westwood Books which has a stock of over 70,000 titles – antiquarian, secondhand, and some new books. I was tempted by a copy of The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley which has been strongly recommended by my sister-in-law. But it’s a very thick book and I have a long TBR list, so I resisted the urge.
On arrival in Kirkcudbright we discovered that Dumfries and Galloway has its own literary connections. It was the setting for The 39 Steps by John Buchan and the viaduct in the photo was used in one of the film versions of the story. And Five Red Herrings, a murder mystery by Dorothy L Sayers, is set in Kirkcudbright itself and the 4-part serial is available on YouTube.
What did we actually do on holiday? Walking, a guided tour plus afternoon tea at Buittle Castle (both were excellent), walking, Raymond Briggs retrospective exhibition at Kirkcudbright Art Galleries, walking, Kirkcudbright Annual Tattoo (marching bands and a stunt motor cyclist!), walking and Kirkcudbright Art Tour.
Well done – you made it to the end of my holiday essay!
Finally, you might be interested in this crime writing short story competition. It closes 23rd January 2023 but there’s a reduced early bird entrance fee of only £3 if you enter before 1st December 2022.
#1 by Gail on September 8, 2022 - 2:38 pm
I went to Wigtown, Scotland’s book town a couple of years ago (not far from Kirkcudbright). Beautiful countryside. Thanks for reminding me of this!
#2 by Sally Jenkins on September 8, 2022 - 3:38 pm
I wanted to do Wigtown, Gail, but we simply ran out of days! Must go back again.
#3 by lynnforthauthor on September 8, 2022 - 2:59 pm
Love this ‘holiday essay’ Sally. We spent many a holiday in that neck of the woods in a place called Rockcliffe on the coast and always visited Sweetheart Abbey because we couldn’t resist the appealing name.
#4 by Sally Jenkins on September 8, 2022 - 3:41 pm
We did a walk at Rockcliffe, Lynn. It’s a beautiful place and we saw it at its best – in the sunshine!
Didn’t find Sweetheart Abbey though – what a lovely name, just right for a romantic story …
#5 by lynnforthauthor on September 9, 2022 - 11:26 am
I agree…Sweetheart Abbey is further along the coast and romantically ruined.
#6 by Shirley Stow on September 15, 2022 - 1:30 pm
have you considered a piece you have already written but not published
#7 by Sally Jenkins on September 15, 2022 - 6:00 pm
I assume you mean to enter in the Crime competition, Shirley? Unfortunately most of my short stories aren’t criminal so would probably have to write something new. Time to put the thinking cap on.
#8 by Shirley Stow on September 16, 2022 - 9:22 am
Look forward to reading it. You always surprise me with the endings.
#9 by Sharon boothroyd on September 16, 2022 - 12:18 pm
I was going to enter the crime comp mentioned here, but – if you are lucky enough to win, in order to receive the prize money, you need to have a paypal account. I haven’t got one, so that’s me out. I also feel that other writers will be put off by this small T&C. It’s a pity that the comp organisers won’t consider any other method of paying the cash prize.
#10 by Sally Jenkins on September 16, 2022 - 2:21 pm
I understand your frustration, Sharon.