Monday, September 21, 2009

London, part 1 – aka a tale of two puddings

Current work: MH duo, book 1
Listening to: Def Leppard and Satie
Reading: next on TBR

Thursday, had a good journey down, Although I'd asked for a forwards-facing seat, I'd been allocated a backwards-facing seat; but the ticket inspector was lovely and she found me a seat where I wouldn't turn green. Took my pics of the Boudicca statue at Westminster (this is the arty shot, not the one I'm using in the book - that one's from a different angle and using flash to get the detail, as the light was a bit awkward).

There's a rather more well-known landmark right opposite...

Then I headed for Tuttons in Covent Garden.

I'd forgotten that there was a film crew in attendance. Now, I love doing radio, but TV scares me. Being short and round as it is, I really don’t need the extra 10lbs TV cameras put on you, and when I'm self-conscious I talk too fast... Anyway, I was brave and did a vox pop, which may or may not appear on Channel Four next year. Though I really do hope they didn't film the very raucous conversation I was having beforehand with Michelle Styles, Fiona Harper (who was wearing a gorgeous Pandora necklace and cites me as the bad influence *g*), Caroline Anderson and Josie Metcalfe!

Then Nina Harrington and Josie Metcalfe had discovered that the Godiva chocolate shop needed an assistant. For some reason they thought that I might be a good choice…

Then it was time to chat in the bar. Here are some of the lovely lot I was talking to. This always feels horribly as if I’m name-dropping, but I do actually know these people and they’re friends and colleagues in real life. So apols in advance for doing a bit of luvviness… (And Michelle, how DID you manage to escape my camera?)
So. With the wonderful Liz Fielding on the right, and Fiona Harper in the background.

With Kate Walker.
With Nina Harrington (who is also writing a vineyard book right now, but set in a slightly different place, so we compared notes as well as talking about cake - and celebrating her first anniversary of The Call).
With Fiona Harper - we normal do a Radley Girls pose, but on Thursday we did a 'Pandora Girls' pose. Her necklace and my bracelet. (Fi, I told my husband about your necklace. He looked worried...)

Time for some glamour, now. Sharon Kendrick on the left (who's just tooooo glam for her own good - as well as the fact she was wearing this gorgeous Jo Malone perfume) and Heidi Rice, who just looks like a Fifties' film star and told me a big fat barefaced lie last week before the do, when she told me she'd put on tons of weight and I wouldn't recognise her.
The Modern Heat girls - Heidi Rice, left, and Lucy King (whose debut Modern Heat is out in a fortnight) on the right. And yes, they're both so damn tall, I stood on tiptoe and made them both stoop for this shot.
And now the Medical crew - left to right, Caroline Anderson, Josie Metcalfe, Anne Fraser and Kate Lardy (who has vowed to go on an exercise campaign).
Gorgeous lunch (gravad lax, chicken with nicoise salad, and my fave pudding in the world: crème brulee). Beautifully presented, too – here’s the chicken.

It was lovely to see my editor, too, after the lunch. And yes, I did tease her about dangerous biscuits, and asked if I could do a historical med. The answer is still no, but I'm not giving up... I checked that I had indeed confessed about the jousting scene in the next Medical (it's important to the plot), and that's all fine.

At the author toast, we remembered absent friends - Sheila Danton and Diana Hamilton, who passed away this year. Then it was time to celebrate milestones: Josie Metcalfe's 50th book, Margaret Mayo's 75th, and Carole Mortimer’s amazing 150th! Then I had coffee and a natter with Caroline Anderson before she went to catch her train, and then toddled off to Strada to meet Fi and Liz for saffron and asparagus risotto and the nicest panna cotta in the world. (That's why this is christened 'The Day of Two Puddings' - as Fi put it to me, how often do I eat my two favourite puddings (despite the lardiness evident in the pic, the true answer is 'very rarely'), let alone both of them in one day?)

Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you about my research day (where I most definitely walked off those puddings).


Heidi said...

Oh Kate, you sweetheart saying I looked like a fifties film star, only took about three hours of prep to get that look!!

And thanks again for taking all the pics. And I think a historical med sounds like a brilliant idea, in fact they could create a whole new line for that.

Kate Hardy said...

Heidi - you do! :o) And I bet you're exaggerating about the prep time. You and Shazza are naturally stylish. (Hmm. Might have to steal you as a heroine, some time...)

ninaharrington said...

Godiva chocs need you! LOL
Lovely to meet up again, and thank you for the photo. Last year I was far too befuddled to take any pics!
Wine and chocs and puds.
We authors have to suffer in the name of research! :-)