The other day, I did something unusually posh. Along with a few other journalist-author hybrids, I went for afternoon tea with author Lisa Jewell, at The Wolesley in Central London. Yes yes, I know: hoighty-toighty, and no mistake. Joan Collins was sitting nearby, wearing a nice beret. There were three-tier stands laden with finger sandwiches, cakes and scones. There was champagne. There were fancy pots of tea with those fancy strainers. And get this: Earl Grey was available!
It was the kind of social gathering which could have been horrendous - especially as I was arriving more tired that I'd been in months. But thankfully, not only was Lisa a genuinely lovely person, free of airs and indeed graces, but every single one of my fellow author/journalists (all female - hooray!) were lovely too. Sweet merry Christ, there was a veritable vortex of loveliness, swirling around our table. Two-and-a-half hours passed like a snap of the fingers, and Lisa's PR Natalie produced her entire back catalogue, all of which Lisa proceeded to sign for my young lady April, who cites Lisa as her favourite author. All very nice indeed. Jewell fans may also be interested to know that (a) her next novel, which she has completed and is due out this time next year, will be "very sad" and (b) the novel after that will be a sequel to her debut novel, Ralph's Party. You might also be interested to hear that Lisa's nicely-designed website features her written account of how she came to be a top author, along with some writing and getting-published tips.
"This is gonna be nasty. I can only apologise in advance".
No, not the words of Captain John in last night's excellent Torchwood season finale, but those of my osteopath, yesterday. What with going on holiday imminently (see Thing Three), I thought I'd go along for the first time in 18 months, for a general check-up. But it was also partly because my legs were feeling a bit odd (insert joke here). Turned out that my pelvis was a tad twisted, and needed to be clunk-clunk-clunked back into place.
Somewhere around 1999, I came down with Repetitive Strain Injury. This was partly due to excessive workloads (some things never change) and the poor ergonomic set-up of my work-desk (which has since changed, with gel wrist-rests and all that jazz). It took a few years of physio and osteo-type treatment to get back on an even keel, and I'm fine now (as indicated by that whopping 18-month gap since my last osteo visit), but I feel obliged to warn the Scribosphere that RSI is No Fun. It might be bandied around, like it's a bit of a laugh, or something that's never gonna happen. But it's horrible to go through. Unless, of course, you like losing the use of one hand and watching its fingers twitch involuntarily, driving you insane... I particularly advise against James Moran's (now abandoned) standing-up-and-typing routine. The man's a one-off man-mental, and was lucky to emerge with both paws intact, I tell you!
I like Thing Three. Oh yes. For the first time in almost two years, I'm going on a proper holiday. I won't be taking the laptop, and I'll be disabling the delivery of e-mail to my BlackBerry (you have to really watch those costs when you're abroad, for one thing, as I've previously found to my alarm). This will be a proper week of non-keyboarding, non-scripting, non-everything behaviour. And God, I need it. So I'm off today - goodbye you lovely people. If you know where I live, feel free to come around and help yourself to my extensive range of silver candlesticks. Stripey jumper optional.
And while I'm away, I'd like you to discuss the following pressing issue: to what extent does the lesbianism of contemporary pornography represent the lesbianism of the real world?
It's either that, or the works of Proust.
Good day to you.
PS Did I mention that Doctor Who starts tonight, on BBC1, 6.20pm? I can't recall...