Feeling a little fragile this morning. Went to K'sbook launch last night. Met J under the clock at Waterloo at 10 to 6. Rush hour was a real shocker after my daily quiet routine here of staggering from bed to kitchen, cobbling together daughter's packed lunch before writing until 2.45 and school pick-up time. The only people I ever see in the day are the window cleaner once every two months and the man in the post office about once in three when I allow myself out to post a MS.
We walked over Charing Cross bridge to Trafalgar Square, London looking lovely in the early evening light, and searched for a bookshop so that J cld buy a copy of K's book. There aren't any bookshops in Trafalgar Square, just a very tall column with a statue on the top, lions, fountains, pigeons and a very big art gallery. We did find a whole street of bookshops and nothing but bookshops nearby, but they were all specialist ones. One of them had a real Dalek in it.
I had my book with me in my bag. Great to see K looking so gorgeous and glam reading an extract from her hardback. Hardback for your second novel is pretty good going. Her editor gave a glowing speech telling us about their first meeting and how everyone in the publishing house loved K and her work. K gave a very funny introduction, explaining the author's Amazon nervous tic of looking your book up every hour when it first comes out.
Stuck with the girls from my writing group. We were feeling so bonded we even all went off to the ladies together at one point, in a little girly line, only to find that behind the door was an airplane-style cabin and we all banged into each other, so we became an instant queue instead. K introduced us to her editor, extremely pretty lady with a tiny doll-like nose, and another editor she met at the Robert McKee seminar, she stopped and chatted for a while and was very friendly. We also met an author who was on his third novel but had never sent them out to anyone ever. ! Said they weren't good enough.
We popped into the Groucho on the way home and shared a bottle of wine and some twiglets.
Didn't spot anyone famous. Last time we went J discovered in her boyfriend's Sun newspaper the next day that we'd just missed Bono and Bill Clinton, so expectations were high. We played it cool, though, and went to the quiet upstairs bar, 2 blokes on stools at the bar talking about going to South of France to stay in old Etonian friend's castle and pull girls, what pricks. J spotted a journalist, a woman who always wears a pink top. I bragged about how I used to go there in my TV days and get drunk with Jeffrey Bernard. We were editing a film in the West End about Keith Waterhouse, his play Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell was on at the time. Whenever Keith, was in he'd take us to the Groucho. As the author not only of Billy Liar, but also of The Theory and Practice of Lunch, he knew a thing or two about lunch which nearly always included champagne. Sometimes these lunches went on till 6. The girl I shared an office with used to fall about at my regular morning hangovers. Jeffrey adored Keith, and so, by association, we always had a good time with him. He was very, very funny in an extremely sad way, exactly the same as the character in the play, you couldn't make him up. I had the same university conversation with him he describes in this interview, he was convinced I was one of the Oxford girls. For the first time in my life I was proud of my 3 O levels. It was the last film I worked on as a BBC girl, and one of the most exotic.
Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.