Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lincoln (part 2) + happy birthday to my son

Current work: Med duo 2 revisions
Listening to: various chilling out
Reading: no time at the mo :o(

Dog came home and sulked. Actually, he sat and howled ALL afternoon. A weird, deep, rusty-sounding howl that sounded as unearthly as Black Shuck, the spectral hound of East Anglia; the author in me thought, ‘Excellent sound effect,’ but the net result is that he scuppered my work because the only way to shut him up was to give him a cuddle, poor boy.

My radio spot went really well – I had the most FANTASTIC time. Thanks very much to Nicky Price, who sparked off several ideas.

And the birthday? It’s my son, today. (Well, at the time of writing, I still had a few epidural top-ups and twelve hours of labour to go…)

Righty – back to Lincoln. I left you halfway up Steep Hill. So I walked up to meet Kate Walker and her lovely husband Steve, fellow M&B authors Trish Wylie and Natasha Oakley, and editor Suzanne Clarke. And then my nerves set in a bit.

Back down the hall to the Drill Hall. Suzanne introduced us and talked about the history of Mills and Boon (a hundred years of romance!).

(LTR: Trish, Suzy, Kate, Natasha and me.)

And then it was our turn and we all chipped in on each other’s speeches - it felt more like a group of friends chatting than anything else.

(LTR Suzy, Trish, Kate.)

From where I was sitting it looked as though the audience enjoyed themselves, too. And then we drew the raffle and Kate Walker presented the prize.... the most fabulous box of signed books!

Then we had dinner at a gorgeous Italian restaurant. (And, yes, of course I'm going to talk about the food. Kate Lardy, right?) As I'd done over 19,000 steps that day before I set out for the talk (and would estimate another 6,000 steps during said evening, including one and a half trips up Steep Hill) and I wasn't drinking (thanks to the antibiotics), I felt very justified in being greedy. (All right, I admit I'd scoped out the menu online beforehand.) I chose arancini di riso (a mixture of rice and mozzarella made into a ball and deep fried, served with rocket and napoli sauce), gnocchi quattro formaggi, and this...

Strawberry panna cotta. Beautifully presented. I was particularly impressed by the two-colour coulis.

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