Monthly Archives: August 2013

Is anybody out there?

Am beginning to feel a tiny bit famous! A review of “Goodness, Grace and Me” and an interview with the author (moi!) is on the ‘BestChickLit’ website this morning. Do have a look. Have spent the morning blogging, tweeting, facebooking and generally selling myself stupid. Talk about selling one’s soul to the devil- this is selling body and soul and anything else to hand to that great viral space out there! Am itching to get on with the next chapter of the sequel to “Goodness, Grace and Me” (haven’t quite come up with a title yet) but need to do the marketing bit first. So, if anyone is reading this, give us a shout will you just so I know I’m not talking to myself?!! (Actually quite used to it really especially when teaching the ‘chunking’ method of division to a class of ten year old boys and/or when asking /telling /threatening /sobbing like a mad woman at my own kids to tidy their bedrooms!

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The day of rest. Ha!

On a bit of a post-Waterstones high (see yesterday’s blog) decided to ‘do an Ottilenghi.’ No, this isn’t a new martial arts craze or paper-folding activity, but, where in years gone by, we used to ‘do a Deliah’ now it’s, ‘Darling, do keep up, we’re eating Ottilenghi tonight’. Not the man himself, obviously – though from what I can see he looks a fairly tasty morsel – but his very scrummy food. Have made his carrot cake recipe for years although, impatient cook that I am, I just bung all the ingredients from his recipe into Kenny (my very favourite man after my husband, George Michael and, of course, Professor Brian Cox) rather than separating, sieving, whisking, re-whisking, flossing, doing cartwheels  and re-sieving upon which the great man insists, and it tastes and looks just as good. (I know this because the first time I made it I followed all directions including ‘do not go to bed even though it is 1am and you have to get up for school in the morning’ and the result was just the same as ‘bung it all in Kenny and press the switch.’ Anyway, I digress.

I’d suggested daughter invite boyfriend (‘for heaven’s sake, Mum, he’s a friend, not a boyfriend’– anyone who can tell me the difference can have a piece of the next Ottilenghi carrot cake) and big sister (mine, not daughter’s, do keep up) invite new boyfriend. She’s obviously of my generation and understands the meaning of ‘boyfriend.’ Granny was coming as well.  By the time I’d scoured Sainsbury’s for all the –way out and weird – ingredients, the last thing I felt like doing was cooking the damned stuff.

Five hours later – I kid you not – food went on the table. Big sister’s new man had been unable to make it after all, Granny was looking rather the worse for wear after several, keep the hunger at bay, sherries, and daughter was asking why we weren’t having the usual Sunday roast. Beef and lamb meatballs with sautéed thyme and broad beans; roasted date, almond and spinach salad and a ratatouille inspired rice dish (my concoction not the Great Man’s) and we were off. All followed by a huge, over-the-top banoffee pie.

Yummy, Scrummy. Bring on the Ottilenghi!

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Hello lovely ladies of Leeds!

Mmm!! Quite a nice bit of alliteration there in above title! Told my husband and kids that I was going to spend the afternoon outside Waterstones in Leeds flogging my book.

‘But you haven’t got a book,’ said perplexed husband. ‘You’ve got an ebook up on Amazon – how the hell are you going to sell it without it physically in front of you?’

‘There are ways and means,’ I said, loftily. But he did have a point.

Decided to get the train and do my bit towards saving the environment at the same time. Just a cunning plan, really, to avoid knackering my car bumper once more as you ascend dizzily in Leeds city centre car parks only to find the very last space in the corner on the top floor has just been taken and you then have to descend again and find yourself back out onto the main road. Anyway, couldn’t for the life of me remember where Waterstones was in Leeds but had a very nice time via the new Trinity Shopping Centre and Starbucks trying to find it. Was actually putting off the moment when I would have to stand outside the bookstore, flyers in hand, and actually talk to people.

Albion Street. Of course. Positioned myself between the two doors on the pavement outside Waterstones and tried to look incredibly welcoming. Just looked incredibly suspicious. Reminded me of trying to take the dive at the school swimming baths, aged nine, which would move me up from “Learners” to “Elementary” swimming certificate – does anyone else remember those – and failing miserably.  When I finally did dive in (almost literally –the poor woman took a hurried step back)  and made myself accost a woman coming out of the store, I found that I’d turned from a confident mother, teacher and author into a guinea-pig: a squeak amazingly like that uttered by my childhood pet hung in the air.

‘I’m sorry?’ she said, totally baffled as I squeaked about Kindles, best sellers and ‘wouldyoupleaseliketotakealookatmynoveluponkindleanddoingreallywellatthemoment?’

‘Oh, kindles? Yes they do sell them now in Waterstones. Just over there on the right.’ And walked off.

Decided to make friends with The Big Issue man and his dog who’d been looking on with great sympathy. (The dog, that is, not the Big Issue Man himself.) After that, as they say in the song, Things Can Only Get Better. And they did. Had some lovely chats with lovely ladies – and husbands too who also said they’d download it. Two and a half hours later I’d offloaded thirty fliers, received two hugs, sympathised with several women over their own little ‘loss of passion’ and ‘bastard husbands,’ been scrutinised by several suspicious Waterstones’ staff  and become new best friends with both the dog and the Big Issue man himself.

Husband and daughter came to rescue me and bought me tea in Giraffe –which I can highly recommend – in the new Trinity Centre. Shattered, and with the beginnings of a headache, the glass of rose – still imagined myself on my hols in Spain – went down very nicely indeed.

Barnsley and Doncaster, next week, methinks!

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