A Not So Positive Experience!

It is with great frustration that I am having to cancel Saturday’s WHSmith signing at The Gyle Centre, Edinburgh, due to testing positive with COVID.

A case of sod’s law you might say given that over the last two book signings at Stirling Thistles Centre and Glasgow Argyle Street I have sold just under 70 books, handed out almost 90 taster booklets promoting my new title in the Thoroughgood series: The Hammer and talked to a lot of very nice people.

But actually it would appear that my not so positive experience came from Saturday’s post signing curry and beer catch-up with old colleagues from Strathclyde Police whom I have not seen since December 2020….and now three of us have the lurgy!

Yet rest assured it has not stopped me cutting a troublesome hedge which was beginning to get completely out of control and the fact that my symptoms are so minor mean I owe our NHS a huge thanks for my vaccinations.

The good news however is that WHSmith Scotland Area manager Craig Sinclair has already kindly rescheduled the signing for Saturday June 18, the day before Father’s Day…so every cloud has a silver lining!

Also as a Hearts supporter I am pleased that I will be able to watch my team at Hampden on Saturday in what will be the first Jambos Scottish cup final of my adult life I have failed to make.

Looking back on Saturday’s trip to Argyle Street it was a funny day out. Celtic were about to be crowned Scottish Premiership champions at a party in the Merchant City which is just up from Smith’s Argyle Street store.

But this did not deter a man in a heart shaped union jack t-shirt, his jacket unzipped to let the flag show, dropping into the store, and buying a copy of The Blood Acre. Of course as he did so, as was my civic duty, I cautioned him that he was taking a chance and maybe wanted to zip up his jacket for the reasons already stated!

Yet he was adamant that would not be happening, thanked me for my signed copy and the last I saw was of the fellow striding out of shop from Smith’s counter with a smile on his face.

10 minutes later I heard a familiar voice on the end of a microphone coming from outside the store and craned my neck to see the same man addressing some startled shoppers from under a fluttering group of Union Jack flags with two chums flanking him.

With Argyle Steet awash with those sporting green and white colours the opportunity for disaster was obvious when, as if by magic, two members of Her Britannic Majesty’s Police Service arrived and began a deep and earnest conversation with my former patron.

At that point I became engaged with another book lover and when I looked up the man, his friends and their flags were no more!

Only in Glasgow!




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