Embrace and Benefit

How happy was I when I discovered on the 10th April, that Mr John McCarthy was coming to Waterstone’s in Oxford to chat and do a book signing.  Thus, inherent to my being and terrified that I might be missing out on something big, I rushed back the next day to Waterstone’s and purchased three tickets to see him live in action on 27th April.  Last Thursday evening.

So with my stomach really pleased (as we’d just departed Edamame), our seats selected – right at the back (just in case the youngest member of our party became less than perfectly behaved), we waited perhaps 3 minutes, with the rest of the visibly excited audience, until Showtime.

What a fabulous voice, what an honest sharer of experience he is.  For all those hours I’d spent engaged in the subject of Middle Eastern politics & affairs and the pleasure I’d bathed in learning about it (which I’d unintentionally put on the back burner – simmering for over 14 years), came flooding back. What remarkable people, what a remarkable area, what a remarkable history.

Returning to Mr McCarthy: His discussion was interspersed with historical fact, thought-provoking extracts (from his freshly published – You Can’t Hide the Sun) and several introductions (through references, not presence unfortunately) of key individuals he had had the obvious pleasure of acquainting himself with, whilst journeying through Palestine and Israel during 2008, collecting material.

Just this brief exploration into Mr McCarthy’s experience, opportunities and writings provided not just me and my small family, but also the rest of the 50 strong audience with an ample appreciation of the honest, personal, tender and human accounts he has captured and shared so talentedly, detailed on the pages of his latest book.

Naturally, post chat and I’m so sold and acting like a deer caught in the headlights – he’s a celebrity, he’s a real life author/journalist/broadcaster and I’ve just been in the same room with him for over an hour.  I rush and grab a copy of his work (I promise I paid later); stand in line; and bide my time (a little too nervously) before meeting the man himself. You’d think I’d have pulled it together by now (especially at my age) and learnt to be a little less excited. I so haven’t though. I’m perhaps worse.  So, by the time I’m head of the line and have managed to gush out how pleased I was and how great his talk was, I’d exhausted the possibility that he would ever find me normal, though hopefully he’ll take my streaming of compliments in the positive way they were intended.

Thank you AGAIN Mr McCarthy for visiting my local Waterstone’s.

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