Go here. Go on, go now. I know I don't look like a centrefold on your screen, but if you kind of squint, and imagine me folded, then that's what it looked like in the paper.
Anyway. There I was. And I even got a little tiny bit on the front page, where they put a small photo of me where I had the exact same expression as someone doing a really big pooh, but I wasn't because I was sitting on a wall. And holding my book up beside my face with a quite ridiculously large grin on it. That's my face, not the book. And no, I don't think people usually grin when they're doing a big pooh but...oh, you know what I mean.
The whole thing was to do with my book being shortlisted for a RoNA. That's the Romantic Novelists' Association (a name created purely to find out whether or not we really know where the apostrophe belongs) Awards. I'm shortlisted - well, no, I'm not, obviously but my book Please Don't Stop the Music is - for the Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year. Just in case this is news to you, I shall leave a pause for you to go for a little lie down and fan yourself gently with a copy of 'To the Lighthouse' whilst muttering about what the world is coming to.
Better now? Yes, so. This Award involves myself and my Other Half, being scrubbed, washed, brushed, correctly restrained and turning up at a Reception. Where there will be champagne, apparently. And I am sure I don't need to tell you that the possibility of things going wildly askew are increased manifold when drink is put into the equation. Therefore, I must, of necessity, choose an outfit that a) cannot be easily removed after the third glass, b) I can walk in in the event that I am any kind of winner (although I don't think they are running a Stoat Impersonation contest alongside the RoNA's I can't be sure, and I do have to bear in mind that my Third Stoat From the Left has previously won prizes),
and c) or iii) as I like to call it, that doesn't make me look like a refugee from some kind of shelter for poor unfortunates. I might be poor and I might be unfortunate, but I want to wear a frock that disguises this, also covers my modesty (see above). I did toy with the idea of draping a sheet over my head and poking two holes for my eyes, but finding shoes to go with it proved too difficult.
So now I have to go clothes shopping. Oh, as Doctor Sheldon Cooper would say, the horror! Bearing in mind that, in my head I am size 8, beautifully proportioned, with legs up to my neck and a bottom as pert and perfect as two conkers (nice ones, obviously, not those horrible old wrinkled things that have a hole drilled in them and are hung from a piece of string, I'm more your 'just fallen from the tree' type). Only, in reality I'm more...well... not. I'm more, okay, well, you know what shape a Dalek is... take the sink plunger off its face and give it a kind of neck, and there you have me.
|Just a Sec...|
|...in this. See what I mean?|
And then there's the shoes! Oh, please don't get me started on the shoes! Bearing in mind the alcohol, the injury potential of canapes, the presence of other people most of whom have never been on the receiving end of a really convincing stoat-impersonation and that I don't get out much... the words 'recipe for disaster' spring very firmly to mind.
I do, actually, have a recipe for disaster, it features vindaloo curry paste and two tins of prune juice. It, like revenge, is a dish best served cold and very close to medical assistance.
So. I suppose I'll just have to launch myself at the high street and see what sticks to me. Wish me luck, chaps...