A Busy Autumn in Prospect

e014f6ad5d46f48264e0f7e990f72caa--fall-coloring-pages-coloring-sheetsWell the Autumn session of talks and events has kicked off in style. A cheerful evening at Juniper Green WI set the scene. Lots of nice ladies with happy memories of the old stores.

To Morningside next week for another talk then a session at the Portobello Book Festival in their historic fiction slot the following weekend. Its all go.

Meanwhile People’s Friend have published another of my stories. U3A keeps me busy in various groups and, in my other life, I still run my groups for late diagnosed men and women with Asperger Syndrome.

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…and we’re off!

Book Launch 2‘Assured Attention,’  book 2 in the series about a large Edinburgh department store now moving into the 1980s, was launched on Monday 31st July at Blackwell’s Bookshop, South Bridge, Edinburgh.

An attentive audience appeared to enjoy the interview of the author carried out by Gordon Lawrie from Comely Bank Publishing and came up with some interesting and challenging questions of their own!

Not least among these was which person would Jane Tulloch choose to read the books for audio recording. Hard to say. There are male and female voices required. Jane’s choice of Judi Dench was purely a default selection. Perhaps?  Hannah Gordon might have been best? Food for thought anyway.

It was a very friendly evening all round. Blackwells, as ever, did us proud.

Disappeared Department Stores

J&RAllans cropped

In the hiatus before the publication date of ‘Assured Attention’ I’ve been researching some of the old department stores of Edinburgh. What a lost world! I’ve looked at the long lists of departments that used to be considered necessary. Looking at the image above of the disappeared J& R Allan store on South Bridge, for example,  its clear that mourning was a major consideration for businesses back then. The appropriate dresses , hats and gloves vital purchases for the serious mourner in those days.

When was the last time you bought a ‘mantle’? I don’t think I ever have! Moving on into the 20th century I was surprised to see ‘Smoking paraphernalia’ included as a specific department in one large store. O tempora. O mores!

I’ll be presenting my findings at The University of the Third Age meeting on 19th July and once again, perhaps in an extended form (as I keep discovering more!), at ‘Previously- Scottish History Festival’ in November.

Illustration from the collection of Malcolm Cant.