A Merry Waterstones Christmas – 14 December 2016

A talk on the must-have books for Christmas 2016, a challenging quiz, a 50 word flash fiction competition, a raffle and an opportunity to browse (Ho Ho Ho !),  Waterstones jam-packed shelves and do a little Santa shopping. Not forgetting nibbles and soft drinks. What better way could Ayr Writers’ Club celebrate the festive season?

Our last meeting of the year was held once more in the convivial surroundings of Waterstones book store on Ayr High Street. This yuletide get-together gives our members, long-term and new, plus invited guests, the chance to don their Christmas jumpers and Santa hats, or their best bib and tucker if they prefer, and have a good old natter with a bit of literary fun thrown in.


The bookshop’s own David kick-started our evening by giving us an interesting talk on “What’s Hot” in Waterstones this Christmas. His grand tour of bestsellers took us from Man Booker shortlisted and Saltire Award winner His Bloody Project to the tongue-in-cheek Five on Brexit Island. From our own Michael Malone’s excellent A Suitable Lie, the Boss’s Born to Run, The Shipping Forecast, children’s classic We’re Gangin on a Bear Hunt, finishing with The Little Book of Hygge, to name but a few, there was plenty of inspiration for gifts and, of course, treats for ourselves.

Then we all went a little “Eggheads”, huddling in our teams of three, grappling with the fun but tough quiz compiled by Nigel and our joint Presidents Janice and Fiona. Thanks for your hard work folks. So who were all those photos of? Was no. 10 perhaps Bob Dylan? Or Serge Gainsbourg?  Naw *slaps hand on forehead* …. it was Leonard Cohen! Now, can you remember the Bronte sisters’ pseudonyms?  Or name who Mary Westmacott really was?  And when was the Queen’s Christmas speech first televised? 1957? 0r was it ‘58? The tension was nail-biting. Competition was fierce! Well done to the winners, Chris P, Iain and a guest.

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So, if our quiz was “Eggheads”, our book shopping spree was a wee bit “Supermarket Sweep.” We got off our marks and charged around the shelves making our selections before David had to close his till. Think everyone was able to bag a book…. or two…or three before heading happy and satisfied out into the darkness to make our journeys home.

Many thanks to Waterstones staff for welcoming us “after hours” yet again and for judging our 50 word Flash Fiction competition. Congratulations to Iain McLeod – now a double winner! Also well done to Peter on winning the Christmas Hamper raffle.

A brilliant and informative night from start to finish.  I mean, who knew that Ivan Lendle, ex-Wimbledon tennis player, today resembles a bashed nosed rugby player?  I certainly didn’t.

Looking forward to next year’s event already!

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2017.


Linda Brown.

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