All Sorts, Out of Sorts

Friday 24 September
With just over a week to go before my first book signing, I phone Lovely Tim at Waterstone’s to make sure everything’s in place. ‘Er,’ says Lovely Tim, ‘remind me, what book is it again?’. After a pause, whilst I listen to some electronic pips with sinking heart, LT returns to tell me that everything to do with my book signing appears to have fallen down a black hole. Reeling, I contact Lyn at Choc Lit and in the blink of an eye everything is back on track. What a woman!

It’s a chilly evening so we break out the heating. We’ve been trying to make our oil last (1) because it’s fiendishly expensive and (2) because we were hoping to move and didn’t especially feel like donating a lavish gift of a full tank of oil to someone who was messing about. Anyway, now prospective buyer has pulled out, we treat ourselves to some heat. Except that some gremlin has got into the system. And we don’t notice until 2 a.m. when we both wake up boiling alive. Three attempts to thwart the gremlin fail and by the time we conquer it, we’re both wrung out and it’s time to get up.

Saturday 25 September
Saturday mornings are Saturday papers for me; Guardian and the Telegraph. Telegraph because it’s brilliant for crazy filler stories (like the bosom-knitting granny – classic!). Buying the papers, however, involves an 8 mile trip to our nearest shop... Tesco. So I’m not thrilled to bits on our return to discover that, once again, I have a combo paper of any old bits and pieces shoved inside a Telegraph skin. Surely I shouldn’t have to stand there every week making sure my paper’s in one piece. How berludy hard is it to put a paper together anyway??

Postman arrives with my race pack for the Cardiff half marathon. A quick look at the booklet freaks me out; it’s full of photos of serious runners all looking lean, mean and raring to go.

Sunday 26 September
Go for my LSD; my long, slow distance run. Am three years older than when ran first Cardiff half. Horribly aware that tempus is fugiting but I’m not. Wah!
In the afternoon we go house-hunting. Theoretical house-hunting because no bugger’s buying ours. Maybe there’s a reason why we haven’t sold? Although that smacks of predeterminism which bothers me. Something’s changing though. I love this part of the country, but after five years, I beginning to wish I was closer to my loved ones and worry about our parents being so far away. Is it time to move a bit nearer to them or am I just out of sorts?

And finally... Saturday 2 October
If anyone’s in Carmarthen, I’ll be in Waterstone’s from 12-2pm signing copies of my book, Turning the Tide. Do come in and say hello!

Painting is Oak Leaves, by Tom Tomos


Jane Lovering said…
Poor you, you do have the megrims at the moment, don't you? I feel as though I should burst into 'The Sun Will Come Out - Tomorrow', except that I am an extraordinarily bad singer and would only make you feel worse! Your signing will be brill and full of lovely people who will cheer you up no end, I am sure.
Flowerpot said…
I will be thinking of you on Saturday and be with you in spirit Chris. Sorry you are having such a bad run of things at the moment. What a bugger - do hope somethign turns up on the house front. xx
Elizabethd said…
Oh dear! I'm sure your book signing will go well, what a new experience!
We allow ourselves only the Sat Telegraph here (4.50 euros) and there have been times when there are NO supplements, but they would still like us to pay the full price!
Frances said…
Chris, you've had some week in and around the house.

Thank goodness you did make that phone call to bookshop Tim! I'm sure your book signing will be fun for you and the readers who'll have the treat of meeting you.

You and Tom were wise about your oil strategy. Hoping that the house's heating mechs are now back in gear.

It still amazes me that anyone would choose to run great distances, but all the same...I certainly do admire you!

Let's see, what else? I very much like Tom's painting of the leaves. There is much to see and contemplate in this picture.

Milla said…
nasty shock indeed. It's been very interesting (and rather off putting!) the post-publication saga. Hard work and endless chasing up. Good Good luck to you for the signing. I'd have a nip of something before you go in. Not enough to make you flushed or tempt you to warble, but just to take the edge off. Report back!!
Pondside said…
Good luck with the signing - sounds very glamorously literary!
When I go to get my Saturday Globe and Mail I have to go through it as well. I've had too many missing Book sections and Food sections. An international newspaper thief ring??
Pauline Barclay said…
Have a great time with your book signing and enjoy every minute of it. Keep smiling because everything will come perfect in the end....including the house sale.
Will be thinking of you on Saturday. Hugs x
Lane said…
Good luck with the signing Chris. If I wasn't on the other side of the country, I'd be there.
And good luck with the running too. And battling those oil gremlins.
Lucie said…
I can't imagine how you were feeling when LT decided that there was no record of your signing! Luckily Choclit were there to save the day :)

Sounds like you had a busy busy week. Hope you are feeling a little better now.

Best of luck for the signing on Saturday - wish I could make it. Look forward to seeing you on the 21st instead.

Fran said…
Carmarthen's a bit far, but I hope you have a fab time signing your books. So exciting. Are you planning to have bodyguards like Tony Blair had to? Don't get punched - was that Leona Lewis or Alexandra or someone like that?
Preseli Mags said…
I'll be there! I have a whole list of things to do in Carmarthen on Saturday and you're at the top of it. I used to have similar trouble with newspapers. They're stuffed in Carmarthen (or used to be) and it's there that the problems arise. I've given up on papers now (it hurts me to confess considering my career) but I got so fed up at missing out on the nice bits in the middle of the Guardian/Observer and then having to ring their helpline. Complaining to the shop is hopeless because it's out of their hands (not that I'm defending Tesco...!)
Good luck with the signing Chris! I'm sure it will be a great day and I'll be thinking of you! xx
elizabethm said…
You do sound out of sorts! Hope the signing goes well. I wish I could be there! It's hard getting the family thing right isn't it? I am very aware of being a five and a half hour drive from my parents and way too far from my daughters too but then they all love coming up here and we couldn't easily move away from Ian's father. I'm sure it will all work out and no, not a believer in determinism. Have a good signing.xx
Jenny Beattie said…
I will also be with you in spirit on Saturday Chris. All the very best for it.

We get a sort of photocopied newspaper here with none of the colour supplements and we have to pay about ten quid for that.
Debs said…
I wish I could be there for your book signing, but will be there in spirit and look forward to hearing all about it.

I think the reason no houses seem to be moving at the moment is because the banks won't commit to lending people mortgages. I do wish they'd start doing so again for so many peoples' sakes.

Love that painting.
Fennie said…
Yes I recognise that heart-stopping, sinking feeling only too well. And that's only when you open the paper to find it isn't there, so to speak.
Do hope the book signing goes well for you. And now of course your book will be doubly fixed in the Tim's mind and he'll have asked someone to put a display of it in the window.
Posie said…
Oh what a few days you have had. I am so glad everything got sorted out quickly with the book signing, it must have been a horrible feeling. Of course that then follows that everything else goes topsy turvy, heating etc, lack of sleep, making you feel all out of sorts. Wishing you a good few days. Enjoy shining like a true star as you sign those books.
Spellbinder said…
Richard Masson said...
Sympathise with your 'running dogs'. I used to ride a bike and was regularly attacked by the same farm dog. One day I managed to fetch it a brilliant crack on the nose with my pump. Two minutes later, an irate farmer in a Land Rover nearly drives me off the road yelling 'You hit my dog.'
Fortunately he was about four foot six and I'm well over six feet.
'Yeah mate,' I shouted back. 'And now its you effing turn.'
He jumped into his car and I rode off.
Had to change my route though in case he had a big brother/son/wife/ shotgun.
Good luck with the signing.
good luck for Saturday - relax - it will be absolutely fine
sheepish said…
Good luck for tomorrow I am sure it will be brilliant.
Chris Stovell said…
Jane, sorry - right misery!

Fp, thanks for both.

Elizabethd. I'm sure there are lots of things that make up for lack of papers - I always get that impression!

Frances, you are kind! Yes, house is behaving (touch wood).

Milla,yes, hard work - but what I wanted so can't complain!
Chris Stovell said…
Pondside, love the idea of the newspaper thief ring! But they can stop any time they like!

Pauline, thank you - I hope the picture is brighter for you now.

Lane... actually, are you anywhere near Bury St Edmunds?

Lucie - you can imagine!! Sinking feeling doesn't come close! Yay to 21st!

Fran, could have done with a few body-guards dragging people in. But I think that's frowned upon.

Mags, oh shame I can't have another go at Tesco!

Pia, your turn next!
Chris Stovell said…
Thanks Jenny - woah, huge amount of money!

Debs, thank you - we'll catch up again.

Fennie - what can I say, seeing as I'm writing this after our meeting - see next post!

Posie, yes, lack of sleep certainly didn't help. Thanks for your good wishes.

Richard - that doesn't sound like you at all! And thank you!

SBS, it was great!

Sheepish, thank you!

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