I had a wonderful time at the Firestation book swap in Windsor last week. All I had to do was sit on a sofa, talking, drinking tea and eating cake, and those are three things I’m really quite good at. I didn’t even have to talk that much about my novel – which was a relief, seeing as I’ve forgotten so much about it. The questions submitted by the audience were about such matters as where you’d like to live (Paris, obviously) or whether you prefer milk or dark chocolate (dark, in my case). The evening flew by and I swapped my book – Jed Mercurio’s American Adulterer for something called A Kind of Vanishing by Lesley Thomson. I don’t know anything about it, but I intend to read it, unlike the 4-in-1 Readers’ Digest thing I was lumbered with last time.
I stayed overnight with my oldest friend, in her massive house. Her children are always either away at boarding school or travelling somewhere exotic and her husband is a floral designer who has to go to bed very early so he can get up at an ungodly hour and get his flowers, so there never seems to be anyone else around when I’m there. Being accustomed to living in quite a small space with my own family, in London, rather than the countryside, I find the quiet unsettling, and I can’t get used to being able to use the bathroom without having to queue. Then when I went downstairs in the morning there was a strange man in the garden. I hope he was the gardener. The French au pair drove me to the station, and in Waterloo I actually saw a copy of my book on the shelf, which made my day, sad creature that I am.