We Have Lift Off…
Posted on April 18, 2014
Life is very much back to normal having felt on top of the world for twenty-four hours thanks to Monday night’s launch of ‘Beautiful Day’ at Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street in the West End. The turnout was spectacular – proof that my friends and family will travel a very long way on the promise of a free glass of wine. I was so grateful to everybody who made the effort to be there, to Daunts and to the team at Penguin for making the evening such a success.
On arrival, I had a little wobble seeing multiple copies of the book in the shop window – but in a very good way. Strange as it may sound, the entire evening was reminiscent of my wedding reception in that I felt a mixture of joy and nervousness, and it was the last occasion that this particular group of people had all been trapped in a room together.
On the subject of weddings, I like to think that I am a battler for women’s rights, that I have never for a single second thought that women are the weaker sex or shouldn’t have the same opportunities as men. However, on my wedding day that all went out the window, and it was with huge relief that I happily tittered and simpered my way through the speeches and remained utterly, gratefully, ecstatically mute. I have managed to avoid public speaking throughout my life, and so it was a bit of a shock when I realised that I would be expected to speak at the book launch. A bigger shock still was when it became clear that the speech would have to be delivered from a balcony that overlooked the party – OK not exactly Buckingham Palace on Royal Wedding day but I can assure you that’s how it felt at the time. I had that sensation when you want to ask the person next to you, ‘Excuse me, is it me or are we experiencing an earthquake? … Oh, just me, only my knees appear to be having some sort of seizure.’
I did the speech and … it was fine. Not brilliant but fine and the relief I felt at the end was so glorious that it was almost worth all the nerves. I wafted around for the rest of the evening, signed anything that crossed my path from books to babies, ended up in the pub and, much to the horror of my children, danced a little.
Now normal service has been resumed in that I am home and one child is off school thanks to a case of the squits, my hot water pump is making a sound like a cement mixer and I have just cleared up the entrails of a rabbit from my sitting room carpet courtesy of the cat. I say that, but it doesn’t look as if my dear little kitty had nibbled at it, more as if an elephant has stood on the sofa and jumped onto it full-force, in the hope of getting the liver to rebound off the light fittings. Onward and upward.