Oh, just things…..

Well I don’t know that I would like to be in the jungle with the celebrities but I certainly would prefer the temperature over there – it is freeeeeezing in Hampshire! The central heating is on 24 hours a day here (don’t tell my husband) and I’m still having to wear at least two jumpers and my cashmere/angora wrap garment/thing – I don’t know that it has a name, it’s definitely not the most attractive piece of clothing that I own but it’s lovely and warm so fashion be damned. So British of me to talk about the weather but let’s face it – I’m good at queueing, prefer not to display emotion publicly and I wear a lot of Jack Wills – ergo I am British. That’s one of the most depressing things about getting older actually, every time I go into Jack Wills I feel a little further removed from their fashion. It’s very sad. Or it would be if I cared; I’m quite happy to embrace age and float towards the inevitable Windsmoor skirts of my seventies. Gone already are the days when I habitually wore the shortest skirts I could find; this happened because I discovered nice lingerie. Stockings and suspenders, etc. and you cannot wear those with short skirts. Or only in very particular circumstances anyway. Actually, I’m going to London next week and I’m going to visit one of my favourite shops in the world, the What Katie Did London boutique where I shall indulge my love of all things vintage. Well, not all things, bullet bras don’t really do it for me, but there’s an awful lot of lingerie and corsets that do. I doubt I’ll buy anything very much but I love the feel of the place; it’s like going back in time. It’s classy, the underwear is beautifully and artfully arranged and the staff are fantastic. They’re passionate about vintage lingerie, knowledgable and helpful. I really would recommend them if you’re after anything like that.

Anyway, the primary reason that I shall be in London is to attend Ali McNamara’s launch of her book “From Notting Hill with Love…..actually” which I’ve seen described as the cheekiest book title of all time.  I haven’t read it yet, I’m hoping to get a signed copy at the launch party, and I am tremendously excited! It’s the first launch that I’ve been to, other than my own. I shall write a full report about it next week. Watch this space!

I’ve just finished reading an absolutely brilliant book called “The Last Letter From Your Lover” by Jojo Moyes. I’d seen it in a bookshop and loved the description, I nearly bought it but at the time I had a stack of books to read so I didn’t. Which actually worked out to my advantage because a few days later Jojo’s Babyliss Big Hair appliance died right before a big event that she was going to. Cue potential hair disaster, she had my sympathy. So  because I’d just bought one and hated it (I should have known that NOTHING can beat my ghds) I offered to send her mine and I received three signed books in return, which was very lovely of her. And I have adored Last Letter, it’s truly one of the best books that I have read for a very long time. The subject matter is slightly delicate, it covers extra-marital relationships in an almost defensive way, but it’s sad, emotive, funny in places (look out for the real love ‘letters’) and absolutely gripping. I thoroughly recommend it. I can’t wait to read the other two books that she sent me.

And speaking of books, I made a rather big decision over the last week. I’ve gone back to working on a manuscript which I had all but forgotten about. I started looking at it again for a variety of reasons and I found myself feeling very positive about it. It’s no good in its current state, I’ve already cut huge swathes of prose from it, in fact the current word count is 91,000 words and I don’t expect that to change much for a while, even though I am continually working on it. I’m easily erasing as much as I write. But I’m excited about it. My characters are very real and vivid, some of the events in the book make compelling reading and I’m loving the opportunity to re-work it and make into the best manuscript that I can. So we shall see. It’s very similar in tone and content to Things He Never Knew; I obviously have a subconciously preferred area of fiction and writing style. Which is a shame because my mother doesn’t like it. Pretty much only positive thing that she has actually said about Things He Never Knew was that she was impressed by my ability to knit the plot together so neatly. To me, that’s like complimenting someone on being able to eat with a knife and fork. At my daughter’s birthday party she told me that she’d like to see me write “…something more literary…”. And that is a verbatim quote. I replied that I wouldn’t necessarily confine myself to my genre, but that I was quite happy with the area that I have settled into. I suppose it’s a natural thing – she would like to see me write to the best of my ability, but as far as I’m concerned, ‘best’ doesn’t mean literary. But then we’re back to harbouring grudges against chick-lit and not buying books with pink covers. ……my mother is nothing if not entertaining. Actually, in our last conversation she mentioned that she was going to start writing a blog. My mind can’t even begin to imagine what that would be like, I shall simply have to wait for the reality, but I promise you it will be linked on my blog if she ever does actually do it. It will probably be tales of herds of cats and her Aga woes and how the skip from the building work hasn’t been removed from the driveway yet so they can’t fit all of their cars in. She leads a hard life, you see.

I’ve just remembered that a VERY exciting thing happened to me yesterday!! I can’t believe that I didn’t mention it before. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has started following me on Twitter! This sent me stratospheric with excitement, as my husband, children, friends, neighbours and people that I met in the street will testify. I don’t know why he is (I say ‘he’, I’m sure it’s probably not) all I did was tweet about a signed photograph that I was given and the fact that it’s on my desk, making me very, very happy. I was even open about the fact that I adore him because he is so gorgeous and his political views are a secondary thing. Though I am broadly speaking in support of those as well. Yesterday went down as one of the best days of my life.

But now I must go back to proper writing and trying to prevent my fingers from becoming frozen with cold. If it wasn’t such a cliché I might try typing in fingerless gloves, but I’m too afraid of looking like something from Withnail and I. If you see me with Deep Heat you’ll know it’s time to worry. But as it is I shall settle for turning the heating up (don’t tell my husband) and wearing my staggeringly unsexy cashmere/angora wrap/garment thing, and look forward to the hour tonight when I can let the alcohol warm me instead.

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One Response to “Oh, just things…..”

  1. Blimey, not sure what I'd do if my mother started a blog … she'll have to master a mobile phone first though and learn how to switch on a PC. I have a few years grace!

    Resist the Deep Heat whatever you do – it smells of old men. Bombay Sapphire is the answer, easy on the ice.