The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Tuesday, January 25, 2022 Permalink

I’ve talked before about the fact that I’m not a big traveller. My parents weren’t either and I was well into adulthood before I ‘travelled’ just for the sake of it… or to ‘see’ stuff.

After working overseas for a while and travelling quite a bit for work however I became almost antipathic about the idea of travel and spent a dozen years having staycations or visiting family or friends on holidays before finally renewing my passport in 2016 to see my bestie who’d moved to New Zealand. My travelling cherry re-broken, as I’d always dreamt of going to Italy, I then headed off on a writing retreat in Tuscany in 2018.

That was my first big European jaunt. I’d been working in international development overseas, so most of my travels (and places I lived) in the 1990s and early 2000s,  were ‘developing countries’. But as well as the cliched ‘villa in Tuscany’ fantasy I’ve long loved the idea of little villages or quaint seaside English towns. (Or Irish or Scottish I guess. Where was Ballykissangel filmed?) When heading halfway across the world to Italy I’d initially booked a stopover in England and planning to travel to Cornwall or Devon or similar.

Alas, the project I was working on at the time was delayed and like a good public servant I delayed my travel (losing some $$$) and 10 day English sojourn went by the wayside.

When I first planned that trip I’d fantasised about attending a well-known crime writing festival in England, The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate. Back in 2018 it unfortunately didn’t coincide with my writing retreat in Italy so wasn’t to be. I did however subscribe to their newsletter and observed from afar in 2019 and then in 2021 (it was cancelled cos of Covid in 2020).

 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

I’ve started to get emails about the 2022 festival. In late July. And I’m tempted.

I mean, I’ve actually got a full-time job for a change. And… if I still have it in June or July I could probably save enough to head overseas for a couple of weeks. It would certainly give me something to look forward to. I mean, of course there’s the pesky Covid-thing to worry about, but ignoring that….

I clicked on ‘weekend packages’ the other day and let myself fantasise a little. A couple of weeks in England. My first visit to the UK. Perhaps my only visit to the UK. Who knows?

And then reality (or responsibility) hits…. For that amount of money I could probably replace my entire (dodgy) side patio. And that would be the sensible thing to do. The money could be spent more practically and in a way that will ultimately benefit me when I sell. (By not having a wobbly side verandah that is rotting. And did I mention wobbly?)

So now there’s the dilemma. I’m tempted to do the impractical. I mean, “Life’s short!” right?

Of course I could do neither and save money for a change, so I have a better buffer next time I’m unemployed so feel less poor and less prone to moan about my poverty on social media! Sigh….


Linking up with Denyse and Life this week.

  • Vanessa
    January 25, 2022

    I think after the last few years a lot of people are leaning towards the travel side if they had to choose between that and other things.

    • Debbish
      January 27, 2022

      Yes, it’s about making the most of stuff (and opportunities) while we can I guess as we don’t know what’s around the corner.

  • Susanne
    January 26, 2022

    Ballykissangel is filmed in county Wicklow, Ireland. When I see photos it looks a lot like Timoleague, near where I live. I think you want to go to Ireland! I don’t know about any writing festivals here. But maybe there are some! My area is full of quaint seaside towns. Look for Clonakilty and Kinsale!

    • Debbish
      January 27, 2022

      Oh yes, I’d definitely love to get to Ireland one day. There are certainly some great Irish writers. And I’ve just finished a book by a new (to me) Irish author as well.

  • Jennifer Jones
    January 26, 2022

    Do it Deb, was my first thought. As you say, life is too short. The writing retreat sounds amazing. A memoir writer who I follow holds a writing retreat in Paris. I drool every time I hear about it.

    • Debbish
      January 27, 2022

      A few Aussie authors run retreats overseas – France and the UK I think. I’d always wanted to visit Tuscany – even when I had no interest in travelling. I suspect it’s because I loved the scenery in this movie called Stealing Beauty.

  • Denyse Whelan Blogs
    January 27, 2022

    Deb, please do not be practical…please book this straight away..and why are you concerned about your job? I think you might just say that, right? Unless it is a contract of course…sigh. It’s been great to see your post in the link up for Life This Week at Denyse Whelan Blogs.
    I look forward to seeing you again next Monday if you have a post to share. Thanks so much. Denyse.

    • Debbish
      January 27, 2022

      It’s not a contract but a 6mth probation period and there’s quite a bit of restructuring taking place so I’m treading carefully. I no longer take anything for granted!

  • Tailorsmeasure
    January 28, 2022

    I’m a ‘seize the day’ kind of girl and absolutely love travel (though I don’t do it to just ‘see’ things and tick off a list, but to feel, do, experience, explore, discover, taste, engage, learn and so much more) so I’d be on the go for it side of things. Having said that, I’m not ready to travel overseas yet myself, so as you say, there is that. There’s always a thousand wonderful travels here too for the taking at any time. Good luck with your decision.

    • Debbish
      January 28, 2022

      I’m not a great tourist but like ‘being’ places if that makes sense. And yes… in these uncertain times it’s hard to know what to do. My brother, SIL and adult niece are holidaying in the US at the moment for a couple of weeks and so far it’s all been fine (I think!).

  • Denyse Whelan
    January 29, 2022

    Fair enough!

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