For fellow aficionados of P.G.Wodehouse, Shropshire (or SALOP as it used to be abbreviated in my days at the GPO) always triggers memories of Blandings Castle.
I also have a beautifully engraved edition of ‘A Shropshire Lad’, A.E. Houseman’s poetic reflections on his childhood. I love this county with it’s undulating countryside and “blue remembered hills.”
We are staying at the Goldstone Hall Hotel, a fabulous family run establishment where all the veg and herbs are grown on site and combined into wonderful dishes by the excellent chef. There is even a full size snooker table fully equipped and ready to play on.
I’m appearing at the Festival Drayton Centre – the cultural heart of North Shropshire where Phil, on the right in this photo, is the Chairman. He tells me that the centre thrives in community ownership with just one paid member of staff.
Andrew Wilson, my media agent, is interviewing me again and is on my left in the photo.
Dinah Anderson from Bookshrop, a wonderful independent bookshop in Whitchurch, is providing my books for sale. I spend a splendid two hours in the warm atmosphere created by a full house of book lovers.