Quick & Quirky Questions with Jayne Baldwin

Jayne is based in Wigtown, Scotland, and runs Foggie Toddle Books and Second Sands Publishing. Seconds Sands recently published a new poetry collection by Des Dillon, which is available to buy from the Foggie Toddle website.

“Becoming a bookseller was not part of my life plan, but that’s probably because I never really had one, but writing and books have always been with me. My Dad loved reading and telling stories, so I learnt to love books at an early age (mainly to do with ponies). As a grown up I became a journalist (which was the only thing I ever planned) and years later found myself working for a small publishing company after they published my first two books; training as a yoga teacher and having children is somewhere in the mix too. I had started my own publishing company with business partner, Shalla Gray, when the children’s bookshop in Wigtown became available and taking it on seemed the logical thing to do, although I had no retail experience. I discovered I just loved being a bookseller and five years on, I am very happy to now be the sole owner of the business relaunched (just as lockdown happened – not good timing) as Foggie Toddle Books.”

Tell us 4 important facts about yourself:

I’ve been a journalist/writer, yoga teacher, bookseller and publisher. 

What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?

Tough one – I was a teenager at the time of punk and new wave which was amazing but I’m happiest now. 

Who is your favourite fictional character or famous person over 60? 

I was a fan of Chrissie Hynde and looked very like her. She’s still playing with The Pretenders, doing solo work, working as an artist and being true to herself. 

You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you? 

My Dad’s medals. He was in Bomber Command and won the DFC. 

What’s your favourite creative pastime? 

Erm, I used to bake, cook, knit, rag rug, crochet – all that kind of stuff but don’t do any of that now. I do go bottle digging if that’s creative? 

Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected. 

At 17 I was briefly the lead singer of a punk band.

Read Jayne’s wonderfully watery blog about the wonders of Cold Water Therapy.

Our monthly flash theme for July is the water!

It’s July! You’re probably wondering where summer is as we’ve not had very much of it so far, but we’re staying optimistic and thinking about some of the creative opportunities (and perils!) of the season.

This month, we’ve turned our thoughts to beaches, water activities, and life on (or in, or near) the ocean waves. We have some content coming up on our website this month from people who have strong relationships with waterways and the sea, and we’d love to hear from you too in our monthly flash competition. If you’re aged 60+ and a sailor, watersports devotee, keen swimmer, gongoozler, beachcomber or marine life enthusiast, send us your flash entries on those subjects!

If you’re a seascape painter or photographer, send us an image of your paintings and we’ll put them on the Autumn Voices website.

We also have romance on our minds, so we’d also welcome flash entries on the subject of love and romance in later life!

Entries will be accepted until midnight on July 31st, and can take the form of a poem, short story or flash memoir as well as photographs and other images, where asked for. You can also accompany text entries with images. The winning entry will be chosen by the Autumn Voices staff team, and the winner will receive a copy of Argonauts of the Scottish Isles by Robin Lloyd-Jones.

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