I was not looking forward to my talk in the local library, but apparently people were interested to hear why I had written a book about their little place, and wanted to hear my version of life in a faded spa town.
I took with me 6 objects for them to look at and guess their purpose, and I also had a few photos of Newcastle and my house to satisfy their curiosity. I was very surprised how many people turned up. Of course my lovely loyal students from the conversation class were there, but other faces too, familiar and unfamiliar: even the mayor! I wonder if some of them were hoping to identify themselves in the pages of the book! I decided not to read many extracts because they might have been difficult to understand, but I talked (in terrible Italian) about my life, why Battaglia, why the book, and differences between life in Italy and life in England.
I was surprised (and pleased) how many bought copies, noting with relief that people who might recognise themselves were not in attendance! It was a memorable occasion, and I feel full of affection for these lovely people.