Book party

Lump in throat time.

Last Thursday evening, I was almost sick in my handbag. Despite being quite grown up, with the crow’s feet, RHS membership and drawer full of useful bits of string to prove it, I have managed so far to avoid doing the thing I most fear: speaking in public.

But I could avoid it no longer. Last Thursday, my book Gifts from the Garden,  was published and Jo, the owner of my lovely local bookshop, offered to host a party for me. ‘Just do a little talk, perhaps demonstrate a couple of the projects,’ she said gaily. ‘Yes, that’s a great idea!’ I said, hoping I could stave off the dry heaves until I hit the pavement.

I asked my pal, grower of delicious things, writer and all-around good egg, Mark Diacono  for tips. He’s done loads of personal appearances, and if his career as a Bradley Wiggins lookalike takes off I dare say he’ll do a lot more. ‘Give them something to eat, something to drink and get a joke in fast,’ he said. As this is the philosophy I’ve adhered to all of my life, I started to think perhaps I could do this.

Courgette muffins

Carrot Cake

So I pitched up at the bookshop with a boot full of platters, snacks and drinks, ingredients for my demonstration and, tucked into my handbag, hastily typed notes for a speech. People came. Quite a lot of them. They drank, they ate, they laughed. They also bought a huge stack of books and I got to sign them in a slightly demented scrawl.

I didn’t throw up. I loved every minute and couldn’t sleep until 2am from the sheer exhilaration of it all. Now I know how rock stars feel. Hit me if I become unbearable.

My friend James and I. I post this picture not just because he bought the first book, but also because he’s so damn handsome.

A great crowd at Stoke Newington Bookshop

9 thoughts on “Book party

  1. MDS – Thank you so much! And my lips are sealed… X
    Fi – Thank you darling! I hope you enjoy it. Hope you're all very well. X
    Marley – I can't afford his appearance fees. I did manage to sneak a nice picture of him in the book though.
    Debs – Thank you!
    Helena – I hope you enjoy it! And I hope you're marvellously well and thriving. x


  2. I so wish I'd been there but then again you kept it quite quiet until v late on didnt you….sneak. If Id known I could've turned up in my cycling shorts, *then* you would have been sick into your handbag x


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