Last night Chichester Copywriter went to see Alan Titchmarsh talk about his new book, The Complete Countryman, in Hayling Island. This was an event organised by Hayling Island Bookshop and was actually very entertaining, making for a fantastic evening.
Our West Sussex copywriter isn’t exactly an avid reader of Alan’s books or follower of his TV programmes but Katy’s mum is a fan and so Katy thought she’d get mum a ticket and tag along to see if Titchmarsh could tantalise her.
Well, he did. Alan talked about how he loves the great outdoors, how his career has reflected this and how nature has inspired his new book. The Complete Countryman covers everything from gardening tips and advice on how to keep animals and the history of some of our oldest country-inspired sayings to how to make a trug.
But Alan’s not just a gardener and he stressed how it’s easy to become pigeon-holed. The audience learned how he’s a regular theatre-goer and, as well as meeting his wife at an amdram group, Alan has appeared in a few Gilbert and Sullivan productions too. Mr Titchmarsh is also a keen sailor and kept his boat in Chichester Harbour for a number of years before moving it to Buckler’s Hard.
There was time at the end for questions and the expected gardening queries cropped up, including one or two from gardeners whose plants were growing too well, which caused Alan some chagrin and sent ripples of laughter through the audience. Another rather amusing enquiry came from a woman with two over-friendly male rabbits (we’re sure you can imagine the jokes!). She asked Alan what she should do with said rabbits and he replied: “If they’re happy, just let them get on with it. Live and let live!” – quite so!
The only criticism would be that there were an awful lot of people crammed into Hayling Island Community Centre, testament to Alan’s popularity. Chairs were so close together that it was difficult to get to them and sitting cramped up for an hour was quite uncomfortable. There was also a huge queue to buy a copy of Alan’s book and get it signed after the talk. Tickets holders were asked to queue by ticket number, starting with 1-50. As Katy’s ticket was 359, needless to say she didn’t have a spare three hours and didn’t bother. That said, Chichester Copywriter would gladly watch Alan Titchmarsh talk again and is sure to buy a copy of The Complete Countryman.