25 May 2006
Well, I dunno. You spend all day cleaning the house and laying in alcohol, putting the fizz in the fridge and twiglets in bowls - and then everybody buggers off straight after the restaurant, except for Jean & Roger who came back for coffee and Barry-fussing. Honestly, my friends are all getting so middle-aged, muttering about jobs and up-earlyness and knackeredness and such. And me too, not even opening a bottle of wine, content just to drink coffee with my friends...
Or, in other words, the book launch went just fine, thanks. We had forty-odd people turn up in the end, and it really didn't matter if I knew them all by name. I read a bit, because I like reading to people (indeed, I think I'm beginning to design the opening pages of a book to be read aloud, for exactly this reason: which is shocking, but useful too), and then Gail-Nina asked me some questions in a sort of mock-interview way, with people heckling from the audience (rabble, they're all rabble). We shifted a couple of dozen books after, with my lovely assistant Stephen acting as bookseller, and so off for a curry with that dozen or so who could be roped in for company.
I really enjoyed the evening, once people started turning up and so chased my nerves away. It's a confession, I suppose, but I do like an audience. So long as it's friendly. A roomful of people I know pretty well, all of them listening to Me: what could be nicer...?
© Chaz Brenchley 2006
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.