Yesterday I attended my first award ceremony. Green Jasper got down to the last three in the Royal Mail Scottish Children’s book awards in the older category. Hurrah! These are particularly special awards because children vote on their favourite 3 books of the year. All the authors there were glowing and trying not to look too pleased, which was hard, because we all were.
Two boys read aloud from Green Jasper, and chose the passage where Will and Hal get ready to jump over the moat from the rising drawbridge. It was a funny feeling, sitting in the audience. When I finally get a scanner, I shall scan in my beautiful certificate so that it appears on the website. As for the prize money, well, I’m going to use some of it to take my husband out for lunch. He deserves that and much more, as he’s the most stalwart of stalwart supports.
What’s more – another hurrah – I had a MUCH more successful visit to France last weekend, this time to Fontainebleau to a Salon, at which I signed my first ever copy of Flamboyant, which is Blood Red Horse in French. I lost nothing, left nothing behind, my computer worked and my hosts couldn’t have been more hospitable. We began in style with a glass or two, or possibly three, of champagne on Friday night, and that set the tone for the whole weekend. Can I recommend the Aigle Noire in Fontainebleau for comfortable nights, and REELBOOKS, the English Language bookstore, for good reading? It is run by Sue and Judy, who love literature – what more does a bookstore need?
I do feel rather tired today, though, through nothing more than a new and overriding compulsion to check my bag every five minutes to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. This may be the result of losing everything I needed on the previous French trip, or ‘le catastrophe’ as we call it in this house (is ‘catastrophe’ masculine? I bet it’s not, well, whatever, as they say these days). Anyhow, this morning, for example, I had to tax the car. I KNEW I had all the right bits of paper, but I stopped at least 10 times in the street to check, and then when the lady in the Post Office was scrutinising my insurance, I almost began apologising for bringing the wrong document even though I knew it was the right one. Does anybody recognise this syndrome? I’m sure it has a name. I am currently calling it ‘lookingbagitis’. It seems less crackers if it has a name. Because of it, the children refuse to walk with me. Nor am I accompanying my second daughter to an important university interview because, as she said very nicely and with a somewhat embarrassed smile, ‘you see, Mummy, I don’t want to be a nervous wreck before I’ve even arrived.’ What’s come over me? Is there a pill I can take? Perhaps I should drink more.
I shall certainly drink on Friday when William and I go out. Once in the restaurant, I shall forget all about my bag and toast all Green Jasper’s readers. God bless ’em, and you too, if you are one of them, and if you’re not one of them yet, you’ve still got three days to get yourself a copy and be included …
Onwards and upwards,