Reflections on the 2012 UK Meet (1/2), by Liam Livings

This week and next here on the UK Meet blog, organiser and all-round good bloke Liam Livings will be sharing his memories and gorgeous photographs of the 2012 Meet in Brighton. But without further ado, here’s the man himself. Oh wait. That’s a shop. You’ll find a picture of Liam at the end instead, and you can make your own minds up about how old he really is…


In September 2012 I travelled to Brighton, roof down, head scarf on, heart full of trepidation, (I sound like a character in an Audrey Hepburn film…actually I like that) and now I’m on the planning team for the 2013 meet. How did that happen? Well, I often think the same, but it’s been a great journey so far, and one which continues to surprise and amuse me most days.

I arrived at the hotel, having driven away from the rain, praying I didn’t have to stop and put the roof up on Muriel. If you drive fast enough, most rain doesn’t actually land on you, it sort of skims off the car, so you only have to stop for proper large dollops of rain, which fortunately on that day we didn’t have. I checked into my room, which had a beautiful view of the air conditioning unit, and went to Brighton for some shopping.

Brighton beach
The hotel, from the beach

As an aficionado of the high street, I looked around The Lanes, and bought nothing, instead settling on a few bags of brightly coloured polo shirts from JD sport (other places do sell polo shirts). I returned to the hotel to find Clare London in reception. Clare had suggested I attend the meet a while before, after a mutual friend put us in touch over our shared love of writing. After showing her the spoils of my shopping travails, I had a few drinks, and chatted to Jay Rookwood. The barman asking me for ID, made my weekend, so I asked him how old he thought I was. ‘Twenty three,’ he smiled with both his mouth and twinkly blue eyes, as I showed him my driving licence and he registered surprise at my real age. Take that I say, to someone I know who’s the same age as me and regularly partakes in a certain injected product which results in a distinctly glassy, shiny brow. Later that night I went for a Chinese, sharing a table with, among others, Jamie Merrow, Becky Black, Bruin Fisher and Charlie Cochrane. We soon bonded over sesame prawn toast, and a shared hatred of grocers’ apostrophes. I was in my element, I’d found my people!

Next time, the Meet itself – novel openings, ideas, and mastering that secret handshake.

Liam x
liamLiam Livings offers eight self-portrait statements on his website, one of which is untrue, but it’s up to his visitors to guess which! He lives with his partner and cats, where east London ends and becomes nine-carat-gold- highlights-and-fake-tan-west-Essex. He started writing when he was 14: sat in French lessons during a French exchange trip, for want of anything better to do, he wrote pen portraits about his French exchange’s teachers. He wrote for his school’s creative writing magazine and still writes a diary every day. Best Friends Perfect, (working title) is his first novel, currently looking for a publisher.

When not writing, he enjoys baking, and if it were an Olympic sport, he’d have been there, right at the front row watching with an electric whisk and mixing bowl.xxxx
Assuming those are the true statements, that is!
Liam’s website:

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