Nipping out on Friday to put M’s tax return in the post (and let that be an example to all of you), I remembered I was going to buy a copy of Woking News and Mail. However, in the post office, getting a large letter stamp (what a lot of time, effort and petrol this wastes - this idea of getting the letters sized as well as weighed,) the postmistress said, ‘Oh, there’s a photo of you in the paper. I recognised you as soon as I saw it.’ She then offered it to me. It was in the free paper, rather than the paid for paper, but it doesn’t seem to make much difference these days. It was quite a large article - and very large photo - taking up half the page, equivalent to an A4 sheet. The journalist did get a few facts wrong, but I have to say that there was a lot of information in it, not just about Tainted Tree, but also the next book, if it ever gets finished, and even a bit about my autobiographical slice of life, The Fruit of the Tree. I’m looking forward to all the bookshops in Woking rushing to order.
My week of training for yesterday’s early morning really paid off. I was up with the lark, yesterday, Saturday, at 6.30 a.m., would you believe? And I actually felt human. (Whether it will last is another matter.) I rushed off to Jennifer, who was driving us to Winchester. I was three quarters of the way there when I remembered I had left my lunch in the fridge. I had the previous night made myself a smoked salmon sandwich having taken the bread from the freezer. When I put my three slices in the microwave, I set it on full instead of defrost, and it was so hot I could hardly butter it. Naturally I put it in the fridge overnight (though probably would have done, anyway), but in the morning, I sort of thought it was in with the books I was taking to Winchester. I had to prevail upon Jennifer to stop at a garage and put up with their fairly useless range. When I ate my sandwich - tuna and sweetcorn - later, I could barely taste the tuna; that was partly because they had put a layer of pepper on it almost as thick as the tuna itself. It practically took the skin off my tongue.
We had quite a lot of visits during the course of the day and made a good number of sales on both days of Winchester. I was delighted to be visited by Adrienne Dines who had been one of the competition judges the previous year, when Tainted Tree was selected for the second prize. She is coming to give a talk at the Guildford Festival in October, as the Guildford Writers’ guest speaker, and she is absolutely charming and delightful. We also talked to Kay Green of the Circaidy Gregory Press, see also Circaidy Gregory Review of Independent and Small Press Books, who have similar sentiments to our own about the big people dominating the book trade.
It was a good day and we didn’t leave until about 6.00 in the evening. I really didn’t feel inclined to start cooking as soon as I got in, so I rang M and instructed him to get in a Chinese. Unfortunately, he left behind the fried rice, so I made a batch in the microwave. I tried the experiment of throwing in an egg for the last minute of cooking, and it was almost like proper egg fried rice. By the time I’d reheated the meal, eaten it and worked out whether the money I’d brought home matched the day’s sales, and played around a bit on the computer, it was 11.45 pm. So I didn’t quite manage to keep to my early nights of the previous week. I think I’ll soon be returning to Owl status.
My Myspace friend, Beth, has tagged me. I have to think of 15 things to say about myself and then tag 10 friends and ask them to do the same. So watch out friends, I’m thinking about you. Once you have been tagged, you have to write a blog