Wednesday, 24 September 2008

S'not fair!

Time and events have rather run away with me, so I’m amazed to discover that it’s been two weeks since I last posted. (Why must it always be time and events that run away with me, and not Henry Cavill or James D’Arcy??) Last week I was down in London at the lovely AMBA lunch and Mills & Boon Toast to the Authors-- eagerly awaited as an oasis of civilisation in the squalor and chaos my usual life. As we are in the midst of renovating our bathroom things here are more chaotic than usual-- and considerably dustier-- so I was particularly glad to find myself sitting in the relative calm and comfort of the Virgin Express to Euston last Wednesday, my mini laptop balanced on the tiny fold out table in front of me, and a cardboard cup of surprisingly OK tea in my hand to soothe the ominous scratchiness in the back of my throat.

A trip to London wouldn’t be a fraction of the fun if I didn’t share a room with gorgeous Abby Green, and we had a great couple of days regressing to about the age of 17, and meeting up with friends old and new. Amongst the latter for me were Trish Morey and Jennie Lucas, both of whom proved as delightful as their books, and fresh, sparkly (and beautiful) new Presents signing Sabrina Phillips, whose first book is coming out next year.

At this point I'd better confess that I forgot to pack my camera, but in view of the fact that the moment I stepped off the train the scratching in my throat blossomed into the most spectacularly revolting cold that probably isn't such a bad thing. Spent the day of the AMBA lunch walking around with a scarlet nose and huge black circles under my eyes, and generally looking like an extra in some grim Channel 4 drama about the dangers of hard drugs. It is a tribute to the kindness of romance writers that people did still talk to me, however I'm horribly afraid that many of them might subsequently have regretted it. (If you're one of these people please let me know and I’ll send chocolate and lemsip by way of apology.)

Back in the north, the cold vanished as suddenly as it appeared, leaving nothing but a sore, raw nose and a lingering sense of injustice.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Blessed by the Cover Fairy

Hallelujah. After Polyester Shirt Man, and Bouffant Neanderthal Car Mechanic, at last I have some gorgeous cover totty.

My advance copies of Olivier and Bella's story arrived yesterday. I think I'm in love.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Too much information

The usual low-level stress of the school run has been cranked up a notch by the appearance, over the summer holidays, of lots of red signs along our picturesque route screaming 77 CASUALTIES IN 3 YEARS.

Suddenly taking the children to school seems positively foolhardy and irresponsible, and the ten minute journey though lovely Cheshire farmland as fraught with danger as solo circumnavigation of the globe in an inflatable dinghy.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Back to School

Have just waved off daughter 1, looking bizarrely smart in her school uniform, and almost unrecognisable from the bare-legged teenager trailing scarves and jingling ankle bracelets who has flip-flopped around for the last six weeks. Surreal. Daughters 2 and 3 don't go back until tomorrow, leaving us until 4pm today to assemble their uniforms, PE kit and pencil case contents and do something suitably celebratory for the Last Day of the Holidays. Last night was our traditional end of holiday dinner, which always consists of the children's very favourite food (gorgeous fillet steak from the farm shop down the road, and chips) consumed over an increasingly nostalgic and rose-tinted analysis of the summer. By the time we reach pudding history has been re-written, and no-one remembers the heated argument over crablines in Staithes, the squabbles in the car over space/CD choice/ having the windows open or my daily rants over unmade beds and uncleared breakfast dishes, and we're all in agreement that it's been the Best Holiday Ever.

So, today is a picnic in the woods, and cake in our favourite National Trust teashop. Tomorrow is Back to Work.