Hildie - amongst many others - has lambasted me mercilessly for neglecting not only this blog but also AGMs.  So I’m trying to alleviate collective truckshunter despair by, firstly, writing this brief blog and, secondly, by announcing in it that not only will be there be another AGM but also that it will take place next Tuesday 1 April at Saltwell Towers, in Saltwell Park, Gateshead at 1100.

Hildie has observed that, if anyone should make a point of marking April Fools Day, it should be the Honourable Company of Truckshunters.  And, as always, she’s right.

So circle the date and time in your diary and PLEASE try your very best to show up.  It’s been ages since the last AGM, and there’d even been a long gap before that one.  So it would be wonderful to see an ocean of smiling, animated and welcoming faces at Saltwell Towers next week.

A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

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It’s time once again to honour our imaginative and far-sighted friends at The Bookseller magazine, who have recently announced the winner of this year’s Diagram Prize - the 36th (amazingly).  The prize is awarded annually to the book with the strangest - even most bizarre - title; you can read about last year’s Diagram Prize in posting 486.

The prize was originally conceived in 1978 by Trevor Bounford, co-founder with Bruce Robertson of publishing firm The Diagram Group, as a way of avoiding boredom at the annual Frankfurt Book Fair.  It has been administered every year by The Bookseller and Horace Bent, the magazine's diarist.

The first winner of the prize was Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice.  Other winners throughout the years have included How to Avoid Huge Ships, Cooking with Poo, and last year's Goblinproofing One's Chicken CoopGreek Rural Postmen and their Cancellation Numbers was the winner of Diagram of Diagrams Prize in 2008, marking the 30th anniversary of the award.

This year, the shortlisted titles included:
- Working Class Cats: The Bodega Cats of New York City by Chris Balsiger and Erin Canning
- Are Trout South African? by Duncan Brown
- Pie-ography: Where Pie Meets Biography by Jo Packham
- How to Pray When You're Pissed at God by Ian Punnett
- The Origin of Faeces by David Walter-Toews

Mr Bent said "I believe my fellow judges and I - after much discussion and robust debate that quite frankly often threatened to descend into fisticuffs - have come up with one of the strongest shortlists in The Diagram Prize’s over three-and-a-half decade history...it is a truly inspiring list celebrating the art of title-making that goes from the sublime to the fantastic”.

Unlikely as it sounds, the winner this year was the spectacularly-named How To Poo on a Date by Mats and Enzo.

Mr Bent said “The public have chosen wisely.  Not only have they picked a title that truly captures the spirit of the prize, they have selected a manual that can help one through life’s more challenging and delicate moments.”

Roland Hall, editor of How to Poo on a Date, said “We are very happy and honoured that the public thought our book worthy of first place in this much sought-after prize; we’d have been disappointed to be number two.  How to Poo on a Date is a humorous self-help title and it means a great deal to the authors, and the rest of the team that put the book together, that it should encounter such a splash of success.”

Previous titles from Mats & Enzo - How to Poo on Holiday, How to Poo at Work and How to Bonk at Work - were all previously nominated for the prize.  Tom Tivnan, features and  insight editor at The Bookseller, and Diagram Prize administrator, said "The two were in danger of becoming perpetual Diagram bridesmaids, like Beryl Bainbridge and the Booker Prize."

Sincere and heartfelt truckshunter congratulations to Mats and Enzo.  I’ve already ordered my copy - it may come in useful.  You never know…

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Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com


Bentonbag said...

Good to see you back old bean as I am in desperate need of a dose of frivolity.
I have a meeting in Wallsend at 2 on the first so it will be a short and sweet attendance from me.

Well done Hildie

Sid said...

Hi everyone, at this time of year Saltwell Towers opening hours are 11am-3pm.
I'll get you a coffee when you arrive Ian....it'll be open when you get there.

Ellie said...

....and about time too! Looking forward to it and only ONE thing may stop me - work, should there be any....