It’s 7a.m. on Day One of the home improvements at Hotel H and there is a cry of disbelief from upstairs. The electrician has opened the first of the old sockets – in our bedroom – to discover two dead mice curled up behind it. Downstairs, the heating engineer is flushing out the radiators and declares it to be his Filthiest Ever Flush. Nice.
Having only returned from the Romantic Novelists’ Association Summer Conference the previous evening, it’s all a bit of a rude awakening. Rather than doing something about all the writing ideas vying for attention after some very inspiring conference sessions, I’m dodging bits of ceiling – ‘You are replacing these, aren’t you?’ - choking on dust and supplying lashings of ginger beer, the workmen’s tipple of choice.
I have to admit that I wasn’t especially looking forwards to the RNA Conference, too afraid, I suppose, of being a Lonely Baloney*. In the event, I don’t know what I was worried about as I was met with warmth and kindness and some really lovely comments about Turning the Tide. Here’s a selection of Choc Lit authors before the Gala Dinner.
At Hotel H, it’s time to bale out and leave the workmen to it. Tom and I head south and catch up with a whole swathe of friends and family. Stepson Two’s Gorgeous Girlfriend has been very busy promoting her campaign, Sign up, Speak up, Save Lives for Channel 4’s Battlefront. Here she is in all her gorgeosity with – gulp – Gok Wan!
Home again, it’s evident that work is still ‘in progress’. The disruption’s a little dispiriting, but we cheer ourselves up by cutting our first cabbage and here it is. What a big ‘un!
*Family slang. Billy No-Mates.