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25/04/2014: Sant Jordi Day in Barcelona

This year I was thrilled to be invited by my Spanish publisher Libros de Seda to take part in the Sant Jordi (or St George's) day celebrations in Barcelona, which are held every year on 23rd April. It is a day when men are supposed to buy women roses and the women reciprocate by buying them books - a perfect combination!

I had never been to Barcelona before, but right from the start, I loved it! Everywhere you went, there were vendors selling beautiful red roses, most of them with a stem of wheat as added decoration. The vendor's tables, and indeed a lot of balconies throughout the city, were decorated with the Catalan flag in vivid red and yellow stripes. This made for a very colourful display and added to the festive atmosphere. Publishers and bookshops also had stalls in the streets, selling books and arranging book signings by authors, and I was lucky enough to take part in three of these.

First I spent some time with the lovely team from Libros de Seda - Rosa, Maria Jose and Alex - meeting some readers and trying to practise my very rusty Spanish. (Not that it was really needed, as almost every person I met spoke extremely good English!).

I also had the great pleasure of meeting Laura from the book blog Cientos de Miles de Historias who had travelled all the way from Segovia especially for this day, something we all appreciated very much!

After a while, we headed off for a book signing at the Plaza Monumental - an enormous shopping centre which has been built inside Barcelona's former bullfighting arena. As someone who loves ancient buildings, I was very pleased to see that they had retained the original facade of the building completely and the result was amazing. I was given a very warm welcome by the FNAC Arenas bookshop team.

Later it was time to go to another book shop, Libreria Maite in the Gracia area of Barcelona, where I joined four other authors for another signing. Here I was again given a warm welcome and I got to meet the bookshop owner and also three lovely ladies from the book group 'Be Romantic Addict - B'Radic' which was great!

The final part of the afternoon was spent back at the Libros de Seda stand, something I enjoyed very much. Friends and family of the team joined us from time to time (including the lovely Gordo - a dog who despite his name was not fat but gorgeous), and I had fun chatting to everyone. After such a brilliant day, it was sad to say goodbye, but I'm hoping to go again next year!

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