We’ve not been back a week yet with the in-house conversation being about Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival and not just this one but about the next one. Will we be there or will we not?

Apart from all of that we have discussed what this festival does for us. We now have the experience of attending seven of the last ten. The festival is now in its twentieth year and that is a celebration on its own. We were regular attenders of Writers Week in Listowell in the Kingdom of Kerry. They’ve had famous writers and poets round-and-about and they do love to chat. They love their music too but we decided it was time for a change. That has proved to be a great decision.

Our thoughts and ideas have evolved. Michelle is an avid reader and buyer and she has obtained numerous signatures. That can be hard work with getting into the book signing queue early with bags of books. I have helped her with my mule behaviour by lumping books about. Some have my name in them too! Nothing stays the same and she has made her own decision to get less signed and have the time and energy to enjoy events more.

I have always approached it differently to Michelle by doing as many events that is possible but realizing that it is more pleasurable to miss out one or two. Having said that our joint favourite will always be Val’s New Bloods. It is a mission to find writers that are new to me as well as being a new author just published. We have discovered many although they are in plain sight!

In 2020 I wrote several pieces on events and enjoyed the process. I was even pleased with them having reread them recently. But we all move on and to write each blog on the day was demanding of my time and enjoyment. Hence my reflection on this year. I have made some notes and I will comment later on my site about events and individual authors. The joy and the sparkle of seeing writers, readers, and drinkers rubbing shoulders is wonderful. The Commonwealth Games are known as ‘the friendly games’ and the event at The Old Swan is a friendly festival. We love it. Next year – more than possible – but I will still take more from this year as I reflect and write. More to come and not only my views either.

Published by

John Edwards

Farm labourer’s son and rural boy from Herefordshire where he was surrounded by beauty and love. Took himself off to London where he worked for 33 years, but the countryside never left him. Rurality came to him again in Cornwall and now in Alicante, Spain. There to appreciate the wildlife. Abhors waste, the indiscriminate use of plastic and its wanton disposal into our oceans. A follower of Raptor Persecution and a desire to eliminate the callous killing of everything to support pheasant and grouse shooting. They kill so much that is a joy for me to see. On a lighter note an avid follower of his home town football team, Hereford FC and Gloucester Rugby.


  1. It sounds like an amazing event. One always wants to see and do as much as possible but maybe doing less and savouring the things you do manage to do may work as well. Look forward to reading more about your experiences.


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