Events coming up very soon

Friday 30 August: the Ashmolean: I’ll be guiding a tour of visiting Chinese academics. I’m calling it ‘ Crossing Cultures ;Crossing Time’ and emphasising how ideas and inventions  spread from East to West and from West to East’ .  I am happy to repeat it.

Tuesday September 10: Walton Manor WI (7.30 ) St Margarets Church  Polstead Rd. (I believe non members are welcome)

Wednesday September  11: Goring Library .6pm

Both these talks will be on mixed relationships and Sculpting the Elephant (See Watlington Library poster)

Saturday September  14  West Wimbledon Society

How I cast away 120  amazing people



Saturday June 1 – The final day in Antiques on High !

Join me for prize winning quiz , signings ,  fizz and a surprise

Antiques on High (Oxford)  opposite Queens College   3.30-5pm

Friday  June 7- Watlington Library

Talk on Mixed Relationships

Sunday 16 June :  Second London Launch

Anglo Indian high tea with entertainment RSVP to me please





More Launches: Sculpting the Elephant @Antiques on High

The Launch of Sculpting the Elephant at Antiques on High

Sylvia Vetta’s second novel Sculpting the Elephant is inspired by her own life experiences in a mixed marriage and in a twenty year career in the art and antiques trade.  You are invited to explore the ideas behind Harry King’s shop Deco-rators with the author Sylvia Vetta and  with Caroline Henney – vintage jewellery expert at Antiques on High and one of the inspirations for the character of Kathy in Sylvia’s novel.

Thursday May 2 @ 4.30pm : Sylvia will be in Antiques on High for sales and signings. There will be the opportunity to take part in a fun antiques hunt quiz and a Deco prize will be awarded to the winning entry.  (In the case of more than one –there will be a draw.  )

At 5 pm there will be a short video about Sculpting the Elephant and some archive material from the world of art and antiques in Oxford will be on display.  Caroline and Sylvia will talk about the book and guide visitors around Antiques on High pointing out relevant twenties and thirties objects fashion and jewellery. For those who would like to continue conversation with Sylvia, Caroline and other interesting guests they will cross the road to St Mary’s and everyone is welcome to join them for

TEA @ the VAULTS approx 5.30.

 Monday May 13: Sylvia will be in Antiques on High for conversation, reminiscence and book signings from 3.30- 5pm

Saturday June 1: The finale of the May Sculpting the Elephant theme in Antiques on High Sylvia will be present from 2.30-4.30 pm. She will give away copies of features she wrote on Deco and we will raise a glass at the end!

The View from Antiques on High- Queens College to the left and Teddy Hall to the right


The view from St Mary’s: The charming Vaults cafe  where we will have tea is in the ground floor.



Coming up in 2019

Tuesday January 8

Talk to Holton and Waterperry WI in Holton Village Hall at 7.30.
Subject : The Importance of Life Writing and How to Begin

Saturday February 2
Indian Republic Day Celebration
Rose Hill Community Centre 6.30

Thursday February 7
Oxford Brookes University
Audio Books
Sylvia will be on the panel of 4 with Catherine O’Brien chaired by James Harrison (Oxfordfolio)
(Essential Audiobooks recorded Brushstrokes in Time)

Wednesday 13 February 7.30 in the Methodist Church
Kennington WI
Talk : How I castaway 120 inspirational people.
Oxford Castaways 3

Thursday 21 February
South Leigh Village Hall 2.30pm
The Importance of Life Writing and tips on how to begin.

Wednesday March 6
- Sylvia Vetta

The launch of Sculpting the Elephant
The Jam Factory opposite Oxford Station
6.30 -7.30 (Free but please book with Sylvia )
(optional meal in the restaurant afterwards £20 )

Saturday March 16,
7pm @ Kennington Village Centre (OX15PG)
This cabaret style Indian Evening launch of Sculpting the Elephant includes entertainment & a free Indian meal but please bring your own bottle!
(Spaces are limited so please reserve your place)

Thursday 11 April
Talk to Long Hanborough WI
China; the true story behind Brushstrokes in Time
7.30 Village Hall

May-June: Antiques on High (85 the High, Oxford OX14BG)
Many items mentioned in Sculpting the Elephant will be on display and a free leaflet on C20th design titled From Dresser to the Ad Man written by Sylvia will be available in the centre. Dates to be confirmed when Sylvia will be present for discussion and book signing. Click on link for details of May 2 launch etc.

Sculpting the Elephant at Antiques on High


Friday June 7  @ 7pm The Friends of Watlington Library: Sculpting the Elephant, Mixed Relationships and Lost Histories

Saturday  June 15 @ Claret Press (Clapham) The London  launch of Sculpting the Elephant.

By |December 30th, 2018|Events|0 Comments

Events ; Speaking Engagements Coming Up in 2018

WI Talks Coming Up in August

How I Castaway 120 people

1) Charlton on Otmoor  Primary School  Tues 14 August 7.30

 2) The Heyfords  The Reading  Room , Upper Heyford  Wednesday 15 August 7.30

Wednesday September 19  @ 4.30

Brushstrokes in Time

China under Mao and what some courage artist did next .

@ Adderbury Library

Saturday 22 September @ Sculpture in the Vineyard  

Bothy Vineyard  Poems in an Exhibition with me and Heather Rosser and  world music from Confluence Collective.c


Wednesday October 3  11-12 am

Life -writing session at Kennington Library  with Pamela Allen

October 9 @7.30

Long Wittenham WI 

Thursday  November  8@ 7.30pm: China from 1963-1993

Long Hanborough 

This photograph was taken at the launch of Oxford  Castaways 3 – some of the inspirational people I have had the priviledge  to interview.

One of the last public pictures of Sir Roger Bannister.


Saturday December 1 10am-4pm

Oxford Town Hall Green Fair

Book signing and selling





A brilliant line up for The Kennington Festival Arts starting with Peggy Seeger. Read my profile feature on her here.


The Kennington Festival of Arts kicked off with the memorable Peggy Seeger.

She had the audience in the palm of her hand and her empathy shobe bright. I can recommend First Time Ever .

Many memoirs have too much detail ,this one is perfectly balanced has  narrative drive and is poignantly honest. If you can’t buy the book ro don’t have much time you can read my 300word castaway feature on her life here.

Peggy Seeger



It kicks off on Friday 20 April @ 7.30pm with Peggy Seeger talking about her book First Time Ever. Her life has been lived at the heart of major world events making her memoir truly MEMORABLE. Tickets @ £5 (in advance) are going fast.


Click on the pdf for the full programme for Saturday which includes me talking about China under Mao and what a courageous group of young artists did next. A day ticket in advance £10.

kennington library arts festival. programmpdf

Memories! Korky Paul led our 200 yard Pied Piper Procession. Korky is the Friends (FOKL) Honorary Life President and will help our fundraising on April 21 at Kennington Festival of Arts with a family event aided by Winnie the Witch and Wilbur.…/8838230.oxfordshire-library-…/

Qu Leilei: A Chinese Artist in Britain opens this week (Nov 7) at the Ashmolean.

Qu Leilei is a founder of the Stars Art Movement. When he told me his story it inspired me to write Brushstrokes in Time.  Recording the trial of democracy leader Wei Jingsheng (1979) catapulted his life into nightmare. (again) He left China for the UK in 1985. Like most refugees he had to start all over again.  He earned his living as a pavement artist in Piccadilly Circus, washing dishes in Chinese restaurants, cleaning houses and typing translations in Mandarin. Quite a journey to becoming an internationally acknowledged master! The late Michael Sullivan (1916-2013), who founded the gallery on the ground floor of the Ashmolean where the exhibition takes place, said of Qu Leilei: “What sets Leilei apart is the strength and depth of his feelings for people his warm heart, his generosity that sees the essential nobility of us all.”  We need a lot more of that spirit! You can read his castaway feature here. I tell it as 9 lives!   Qu Leilei Castaway

Leilei is not the only Chinese artist with connections to Oxford.  Brushstrokes in Time OLE

Qu Leilei’s castaway feature (Oxford Castaways 3)  has been translated into Mandarin.  Read it here.

Qu Leilei feature in Mandarin

Below are 2 of the paintings  from the exhibition

.Qu-Leile new exhibition           leilei 80s

To buy copies of Oxford Castaways 2
Go to
and click on the cover image.