Friday, 21 November 2014

Part 1 - Looking back at the Gypsy and Traveller world, from 2008 to now

Since the publication of my first novel, Gypsies Stop tHere, in the spring of 2008, surely there must have been changes in the Gypsy and Traveller world. The book, along with the sequel / prequel, No Gypsies Served, presents a snapshot of how things were, using a fusion of fact and fiction to weave a story. Romany Gypsies, Irish Travellers and people not from their communities have said lovely things about them – see the reviews on Amazon and more inside each one! But this post is not really about my books.
Firstly, as reminder, let’s take a look back at some blog posts I wrote a while back. You can pick and mix according to what catches your eye and takes your fancy!

My next blog post will take a look at what has gone on since and what is happening now. Have things improved, progressed for the better or do the same problems persist?
 ** Please click on green titles for links **
Sunday, 6 December 2009
How come Gypsies and Travellers?

This is what seems to intrigue people. I am not a Gypsy myself. How come I am writing a story with a theme that hinges on Gypsies and Travellers, their origins, culture and present-day problems?
At Yateley a few years ago

At Bourne Hall Museum event

Friday, 12 February 2010

A simple question often asked. But how complicated the answer!!
This looks at terminology and ‘labels’ and how easy it is to unwittingly offend.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

It really is stranger than fiction when fiction becomes reality. I felt as if I had stepped into a scene from my own novel Gypsies Stop tHere. The public meeting was to discuss proposals for an inevitable development at Deepcut.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Could not let TV Channel 4’s Big Fat Gypsy Wedding go by without offering a few thoughts – could I? It wouldn’t be right!
Firstly, these were, going by their accents, Irish Travellers rather than Romany Gypsies.

Monday, 7 February 2011

I understand Channel 4’s aim to achieve high ratings. To suck in an audience that might ultimately consider more serious aspects of Gypsy and Traveller life and culture, you need to lighten up first. I get that. But at what cost?

The first paragraphs of this post were published in The Guardian – Letters to the Editor (first one on the page!)
Friday, 11 February 2011


Big Fat Gypsy Weddings not so bad?

Jake Bowers speaking for the Romany Gypsy community: on Daybreak.

I may be revising my view of Channel 4 documentary, dubbed ‘mockumentary’. I hope it really does help relations between Gypsies and non-Gypsies, rather than make for more bad feeling. Excellent representation on BBC Breakfast show this week.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

More media stuff on BFGW

Various media links …
Saturday, 11 June 2011

Have you heard of Travellers Got Talent?

No? Well, at the time of writing, June is Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month. It began three or four years before. Various events displaying and exploring the culture and traditions of Gypsies, Travellers and Roma take place around the country.

Monday, 10 October 2011

I could have chosen an easier subject for a novel. Friends and family advised me against it; an agent told me a publisher would not consider a title with ‘Gypsy’ in it. All of this spurred me on. This was around 2006–7.

Since I am not a Gypsy myself, many people ask me how? and why?

Monday, 2 July 2012

At a Romany Day, Tilford
On Saturday (30 June) I went with a supply of my three books to 'Romany Day', held at the Rural Life Centre in Tilford, a fascinating outdoors museum near Farnham, Surrey, well-worth a visit any time. (The front cover of my third novel has a picture of Tilford Green.)
Sunday, 10 March 2013

This may make uncomfortable, even shocking, reading but I was interested to gather opinions ...

You will find the words: ‘eviction, deportation ... murder, fascism … ethnic cleansing … apartheid … genocide …’, and yes, this was 2013.

Gypsies Stop tHere has an Eastern European character, vital to the plot, who is a Roma immigrant in Britain. No Gypsies Served goes a little further in drawing attention to extreme racism prevalent in parts of Europe. The reality, however, is much worse, as this post reveals.
Wednesday, 14 August 2013

There is to be a great meeting in Westminster in October to discuss the provision of sites for Gypsies and Travellers. 
As you may know, my first two novels, Gypsies Stop tHere and No Gypsies Served have story lines relating to the shortage of Gypsy sites and relationships between.the travelling community and 'mainstream' society. 
Thursday, 26 September 2013

Surrey Gypsy Traveller Communities Forum

It is bit of a mouthful, isn't it? But it does say exactly what it is. If you are interested in Gypsy issues but, like me, decided that the meeting in London would be an expensive trip unless you are funded by an organisation, then another October meeting may be for you. For some years now I have attended the Surrey Gypsy Traveller Communities Forum when I can, as an observer.
Monday, 26 May 2014

Surrey Life Review

I was delighted to have my books chosen for review in the March issue of  the beautiful, glossy Surrey Life Magazine I thought you might like to see it.
That's about it for now; I hope this did not cause too much verbal indigestion. Look out for the next blog post to bring us all up to date. I am intrigued, I hope you are too!
My books are available on Amazon or through Waterstones. Just click on the book covers.

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