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Looking at the Stars

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

My book, Walking into Alchemy: The Transformative Power of Nature, was published on 24th November and I have been overwhelmed by the response. A great many people have bought copies directly from my independent publisher, Mereo Books of Cirencester, and many have bought it via Amazon or opted for an instant Kindle copy. I have heard from colleagues and old school friends who have sent me lovely messages, most saying that although they only intended to read a few chapters, they found themselves reading on and on. This pleases me because I have started so many books and found that once I put them down, I couldn't pick them up again. I tried very hard to ensure that this would not be the case with my book, but I did not know whether I had succeeded until now. If I have, then I am more than happy.

I am also relieved because I talk about difficult subjects. It's very hard to put into words how awful periods of depression can be. I know that this used to be seen as taboo, but most people now accept that it is much better to find a way to talk about these things. Society is also much better at recognising that while we may often feel relatively content and if we are lucky, also fulfilled and secure, we all have times when we feel less so; this is part of the human condition. Life has a habit of changing quickly and unexpectedly, and this can cause problems that we did not anticipate, and these problems can become overwhelming. I was lucky because I suddenly found myself in Austria, a stunningly beautiful country and I was able to take myself off and walk much of my anxiety away. Seeing such beauty and taking photographs and then writing about my walks seems to have made me better. I felt compelled to write my book, and so far, several people have told me that if nothing else, my book has helped them to remember just how wonderful nature can be.

Just a week after my book was launched I took a train to Vienna, and with the proof copy of my book in hand I walked into Frick's booksellers right in the centre of that eternal city - a few moments later the buyer had agreed to stock my book. Feeling much cheered by this, I walked to the English Bookshop Shakespeare and Company - one of my very favourite bookshops anywhere in the world. They not only took my book but immediately offered me a book reading/signing, which will take place next February. I could not believe my luck. As I left, I noted that the shop is in Sterngasse which means Star Alley I could not help but think of Oscar Wilde's quote: "We are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

There is surely a star in the firmament for all of us. We just have to find it.

If you would like to buy a copy of my book, here is the link:

If you can spend a few moments to review it on Amazon, that would be truly excellent.

Thank you.

My first book reading/signing will take place in Wolfsberg on Wednesday 11th December at 7.00 pm at the language Institute Sprich Dich Frei in Wolfsberg. Please see for more information.

All welcome.

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