Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Double life

You can tell the new school year has started by the excessive amount of paperwork that is suddenly gathering on every surface in the kitchen; letters about trips and after school clubs and dinner money demands, all waiting for a response (or a cheque.) You can also tell by the fact that the children have got their first colds of winter.

Daughters 1 and 3 are the first to succumb, appearing from their respective schools yesterday scarlet of nose and streaming of eye. My initial reaction was one of solicitous sympathy-- which quickly turned to horrified recoil as I realised I'm going to London tomorrow for three whole days of pretending to be sleek and chic. This is hard enough already. I want to ditch my usual scruffy bag with its permanent collection of Polly Pocket accessories and ancient till receipts, and go minimal with a teeny-weeny handbag containing nothing but a lipstick and a credit card. I want to waft expensive perfume. I do not want to cart around 4 boxes of Kleenex mansize and create a ten metre exclusion zone around me with the reek of Olbas oil, so have been administering calpol at arm's length, guzzling vitamin C and trying not to breathe in too deeply when I hug my patients. I'm sorry to read over on her blog that Kate Hardy is already suffering, and sitting here sneezing I'm resigned to a similar fate....

Spookily enough, this week marks the first anniversary of the day when I heard my first book had been accepted. That was on September 20th 2006, at about 3.45pm, and exactly a year on I'll be having afternoon tea with the very lovely Mills & Boon editor who made that call! I'm really excited-- and not just about the thought of tea and cake (though that does have a strong appeal, of course...) We may have exchanged countless phone calls and emails in the meantime but it'll be the first time we've ever actually met, and the timing seems wonderfully fitting.

Other highlights of the coming trip include meeting up with all the friends I've made in the last year (which seems, in lots of ways, to have flown by-- but on the other hand I feel like I've known these lovely friends for waaaaay longer), and indulging in the sort of food and drink extravaganza that promises to make the last days of the Roman Empire look positively abstemious in comparison. There's also the lure of all those shops, and the prospect of sharing a hotel room with a certain Abby Green, and maybe locking her in the bathroom until she's written the first chapter of my book for me while I raid the mini bar and watch satellite television.

It'll also be a tiny bit weird to step out of my mummy role for three days. I haven't left the children for that long before (though in case anyone from social services is reading this I should probably point out that I'm not leaving them on their own or anything) and I'm not sure how I'll cope, so I hope Abby won't mind if I inadvertently slip back into the groove and cut up her dinner and make her brush her hair. It's the harvest festival at school on Friday morning, and it could take quite a bit of retail therapy to ease the sting of not being able to see daughter #3 being an ear of corn, or daughter #2 singing a song about marrows. However, I'm looking forward to hearing what my husband manages to put together by way of a harvest gift. His will be the one containing the four pack of beer and the family-sized pizza.


Kate Walker said...

So looking forward to seeing you again, India - and don't be ridiculous! I have never seen you looking anything but gorgeous, glamorous and groomed.

Sharing a room with Abby . . .hmmm - now that takes courage. Be careful - she might lead you into bad ways ;o)

See you soon


Michelle Styles said...

Oh how lovely you will be having tea with your editor on the one year anniversary!

It will be a real treat to see you again.
I will be the harassed plump middle aged matron and you will be the slim Nigella look alike.

Rachel said...

Oh India, congratulations on your one year anniversary and have a marvellous time away.(pics please when you return, if you can!.

Copious amounts of red wine and garlic never fails to ward off the first toxic cocktail of kiddy bugs here, (for you that is, not the girls, just in case social services ARE surfing around!).

With you on the hideous school admin, have already nearly filled a buff folder with notes and it's only week 2!


Eva said...

Cool, India! Have the BEST time.

Do you have Cold-fX over there?

Hugs to the girls (at arm's length).

Kate Hardy said...

Happy anniversary! And what a lovely way to celebrate - tea with your ed.

Looking forward to seeing you.

And don't worry about minimal handbag. My ENORMOUS (but beautiful) Radley bag contains lots of tissues...

(And oi, Michelle, *I* am the round middle-aged one. You're glam in comparison, believe me!)

India said...

The Kates and Michelle-- the very people of whom I was speaking! (how's that for a writerly sentence...??) Will be so lovely to get together again.

I'll try to remember to take photos Rachel, but am notoriously rubbish at such things (the remembering AND the taking, sadly...) I so like the sound of being ill in your house. Please send directions immediately! (I would have thought that the colony of bacteria thriving in my fridge would have strengthened my immune system against the common cold, but seemingly not. There goes another excuse not to clean it!)

Eva- no Cold-fx here. I don't know what it is, but I want some-- if it's good for Canadian colds (which must be REALLY cold) it'll sort out our poncey British ones!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the one year anniversary. So excited for you and the mini-purse adventures. Yes, yes, eat lots of garlic (it also helps keep away vampires).

Have loads and loads of fun, then come back and tell us everything!!

Amanda Ashby said...

Have just done a cyber thing to ensure that you don't catch any lurgies and am also sending you some of my Unnatural Mother genes, because so far everytime I've left my kids to go to a writing conference, I've managed to cope remarkably well. I tell you it's a gift.

Also, it's incredibly amusing to come home and listen to husband talk about how hard it is to get anything done when surrounded by the children all day. Oh, really...

Anyway, since this blog comment has already turned into a novella, I might as well continue and give you a big fancy pants HOORAH that you're going to hang out with your editor on your book anniversary. Have a fab time!!!!