Tag Archives: Louis de Bernières

My day 2 of the 2018 EIBF

Thank goodness for favourite publicists! They have a way of making a witch feel better. Just before leaving Charlotte Square on Tuesday afternoon I went to Lindsey Davis’s signing, and no slight intended for this amusing and successful crime writer, but I popped by to say hello to Kerry Hood. We chatted, she asked after Offspring – all these many years later! – and we sort of competed on who was the oldest and most confused of us.

We both won.

After discovering I had a problem with my book on the train to Edinburgh (it was too short. The book. Not the train), my day started with a woman on the bus who was not prepared for what you do on buses, which is pay, and to have your purse standing by to do it with. That cost me the photocall with Frank Cottrell Boyce. Oh well. I got to see him at his event.

Frank Cottrell Boyce

Ate my Three-Men-in-a-Boat cheese sandwich watching Chris Close photograph a fairly reluctant author. And then it rained. I also discovered I had pockets, having spent the morning mourning the loss of them.

Louis de Bernières

After Frank’s event I battled the bad light in his signing tent, toing and froing between him and Louis de Bernières, while also trying not to miss Lindsey’s photocall. In the end I did that thing which works when waiting for the gasman, except instead of going to the bathroom, I popped back in to see Frank and also opened the door for a young man carrying 16 pints of milk, and there she was. Works – almost – every time!

Lindsey Davis

Bumped into Sally Gardner and we had a chat, and then I went over to the children’s bookshop to see if I could corner Alison Murray who was supposed to be there. While I waited I snapped Sibéal Pounder signing books, and chatted to Ann Landmann who had chaired her event, which sounded as if it had been great fun. I then proceeded to show my writer’s credentials to Ann by talking about the light across the square as having been badder. Worser. Or it was simply brighter where we were…

Sibéal Pounder

Alison Murray

Then it was time for Sally Gardner’s event with Sophie Cameron, where I encountered L J MacWhirter again. Instead of brandishing a prawn sandwich at her, we talked about hen parties and fangirl moments. Charlotte Square is good for the latter.

Sophie Cameron

Back out to photograph Sally’s gorgeous new hair in the bookshop. It’s a sort of cerise. Her hair, I mean.

Sally Gardner

That’s me back at the beginning, telling Kerry about Offspring and her saying I shouldn’t keep them waiting.

So I didn’t. Even if Son had mentioned I’d be better not arriving too early…

A study of studies

I painted Louis de Bernières’ writing room this morning, over breakfast, in my own writing room. Those of you who are awake will most likely deduce, correctly, that I write in the kitchen.

I have always hated the idea of the big, cosy kitchen where you do all sorts of other things, apart from the cooking and the eating. The friendly gatherings, the playing children, said children doing their homework, and so on, fill me with despair. As Garbo said, I want to be alone. And desk work is meant to be done at a desk. I have a desk. In a fairly nice looking study, if you don’t count all the rubbish deposited carelessly by the Resident IT Consultant. We share.

So here I am, writing away at the kitchen table, which doesn’t even match itself. The kitchen isn’t big, unfortunately. The table is, unfortunately. That’s why it doesn’t match. The extra leaf was ‘decorated’ in another era. The extra leaf is because all my clever blogging ideas and other stuff take up a lot of room, which left little room for eating. That in turn was unfortunate, because the dining room has a baby grand instead of a table, so we can’t eat in there. Not to eat would be one solution. It would also aid us in edging round the kitchen table.

I’m using up all that dead time you get when you wait for the eggs to boil. The time when something on the cooker will be ready so soon, that it’s not worth going upstairs.

But, to keep up with GCSE maths and boiling eggs and things, I do really need that house magazine large kitchen. Only, where to put it? I am a little more colour co-ordinated now, after the Resident IT Consultant nearly froze to death in the garage painting the chairs, just before Christmas. They are now lime green, matching my Marimekko folder. That’s about the only thing from Marimekko I can afford.

I do like ordering people’s lives for them, which is why I was painting Louis’ shed this morning. In the Guardian’s writers’ rooms series the de Bernières’ shed featured this week, and very nice it is. Once it’s been painted off-white. And he could prune away the surplus ghetto blaster by using iTunes, but that’s just a thought from the minimalist lover. And the cushion on the chair.

As for me, I continuously consider moving back upstairs, sometimes mentally banishing the Resident IT Consultant to a shed in the garden. But then there are the eggs…