Death in the garden

I am quite a powerful witch, when all is said and done. A mere few weeks ago I was sitting in my garden, chatting to a visiting friend. I mentioned how tired I was of online book launches, and that now someone could just have a small gathering in their garden, to celebrate a new book. An hour later the invitation arrived. Alex Nye must have good ears to have heard my instructions so clearly.

Alex also had the good sense to arrange fine weather, and we had one of those rare, but warm and sunny September evenings. To, erm, celebrate her new book about Death. It’s a similar Death to the one you might have encountered in other people’s books, except here she – yes, she – is being interviewed by a journalist, over afternoon tea.

The Resident IT Consultant gave me a lift there, and we only drove the wrong way twice. He then very wisely went for a walk – instead of drinking prosecco – because that’s what Resident IT Consultants do.

Me, I said hello to Clare Cain, Alex’s publisher, said hello to a can of nicely chilled Cola (I must learn how to do that ice in a bucket thing!) and then went over to bother Sarah Broadley and Kirkland Ciccone. Thanks to social media it didn’t feel quite as long ago as two years, but it was still nice to see someone who is not of the witch clan in person. Even young master Nye came up and talked to me, when he was not taking lots of photos and chatting about drones.

The star of the ‘show’ was the Nye dog, who was literally in stitches after a recent incident, but who walked among the guests and only looked longingly at the sliced meat for about 90% of the time. Kirkie did his best to feed me, but that sausage roll had to sort of do the rounds a few times before there was a taker. Paper plates are hard to balance. Especially after such a long break in the ‘being out’ business.

Alex did a reading from her book, even the birds grow silent, but I missed most of it due to me trying to arrive not too early. She has a nice forceful way about her, so I’m certain not a single person left without a copy of the book. Except for me, who instead returned it. (I’d been sent more than one.)

We chatted about the book festival. Kirkie asked the French intern who had come along, about his childhood yoghurts, and was disappointed to learn there was no exciting French involved that he’d failed to understand. (Never ask!) The garden was – and probably still is – filled to the rafters with lovely things growing in ‘quite a few’ pots.

The house, when I passed through on the way to the Ladies’ proved to be filled with books. Very suitable. And Kirkie clearly knows his way around, making what looked like a bucketful of coffee for Clare as she womanned her bookstall.

Then the Resident IT Consultant came and took me home again. A different way.

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