The burning questions asked by our children this week are:
The 8-year-old: Mum, in real football matches, are players allowed to pinch each other’s bottoms?
The 6-year-old: Can we play in the garden with real knives?
The dog-obsessed 4-year-old: Dad, your dad has died, hasn’t he? (Yes.) He used to be my granddad, didn’t he? (Yes.) And now Grandma lives with Olly (a dog), doesn’t she? (Yes.)
Pause, and then, sympathetically: Dad, maybe Olly can be your dad now?
On the subject of questions (can you BELIEVE how smooth a segue that was?) I went to London Town yesterday to be interviewed and FILMED for this children’s writing competition I’m helping judge. Five of us authors have started off a story and the competition is for kids to write the rest of the story. There are really good prizes for the kids including a school visit from the author in question! (So please, if you live somewhere really beautiful like the Lake District or Cornwall, persuade your child to finish my story, so I get a chance to go there.)
Anyway, I felt a bit nervous about being filmed. I just hate hearing my own voice on a tape and I was quite sure that on film I’d be even more of a spanner. Still, I had my confidence-boosting new dress on (a bargain in the White Stuff sale) plus a load of slap, so I felt as prepared as I could be. However, while eating lunch beforehand, I managed to drop a blob on tuna mayo on my new dress (which left a mark) and then, just before the interview itself, I noticed there was a tiny hole in the back of the dress. So much for confidence-boosting, then. Ahh well. Sometimes you just have to face facts: I am not and will never be one of those chic, immaculate types. Which is a shame.
The interview itself… hmmm. I think I wittered a lot, quite incomprehensibly most of the time. Great. They are going to edit the whole thing way down though at least… hopefully I managed one coherent sentence out of it.
Afterwards I went for a cuppa char with the lovely ladies at Pan. It was so nice to have a chat and discuss publicity ideas and to get a brand spanking new cover proof of Hens Reunited. Hurrah! Very exciting. (Mind you, back to the subject of burning questions, eldest daughter has just walked in and picked it up. "Ooh! Ladies' bottoms!" she exclaimed. "Mum, why has your new cover got ladies' bottoms on it?" Sigh....) I did also get an extremely NICE question while at Pan yesterday, one of the best questions in the world in fact: “Would you like any books?” I had to stop myself from whipping out a bin bag and saying, Yes please, fill ‘er up.
So that was all very lovely and I even had time for a bit of shoe shopping before I had to get my train. I managed to rein myself in at a mere two pairs which felt quite restrained, the good mood I was in.
Nearly the end of the school holidays now, and oh, I have enjoyed them so much. Largely because the kids get their own breakfast these days if we leave out the cereal packets on the kitchen table the night before, and ohmyGod that little bit of extra time in bed is worth any amount of sweeping up spilled Shreddies later in the morning, believe me.
Now that I’ve got that little lot off my chest, it’s down to work for me: back to the new novel to try and up that word count. Have a good weekend everyone.
A Country Escape by Katie Fforde
5 hours ago