Lord H's birthday today - so a speedy present opening session before he went to work this morning. I forgot the usual birthday cake (shame on me), but went towards making up for this shocking oversight by the individual chocolate cakes I bought at the university shop yesterday. He seemed to like the rather beautiful picture I bought for him from the university gallery - "L'escalier blanc" - he loves stairs, so I feel I've done well there. Also bought a whisky described as "long and complex". Just like himself really.
Lord H went off to work, and I made a start on a precis of a Mozart opera (The Magic Flute in 50 words - hard but fun!) for a Writers' News (www.writersnews.co.uk) competition, and wrote a short story also for a Ws' N competition called "Creative Accountancy for Beginners" - about a spaceship attempting to park. Never say I'm not catholic in my writing tastes ... I love doing something I can finish in a day - a "quick win" in management-speak rather than the long-term novel commitment. Will also try to do a poem on a Mozart piece (spot the theme!) later on. I always do poems longhand before transferring them onto the computer, but the fiction - long or short - goes straight to screen.
Attempted to confirm my booking for a Fortnum & Mason's tea on Saturday for my gang of friends, but it was a nightmare of phone rage. Their system cut me off 3 times and I ended up having to ring their PR company to get to speak to a person. But never say PR isn't useful - 5 minutes after my call, the restaurant rang back and confirmed it. Thank goodness! How I hate doing these mass social arrangements, but it always - always! - ends up being me doing it. I swear - if I didn't do the running around, this lot would never meet up. I'm very fond of them, naturally, but how I wish for someone else to be the Social Secretary for a while. I work on my "days off" too, chaps - sometimes harder and for longer than my "working" days!
Sent an email query to Alma Books (www.almabooks.co.uk) today about "A Dangerous Man". They emailed back quickly to request the synopsis and first chapter, so will send that to them by snail mail tomorrow. Fingers crossed - again!
Have just finished Harlan Coben's "The Innocent." Not very impressive, I must say, although a Coben is always a page-turner. It was a picnic of unlikely coincidences, and the wife, Olivia, has to be the most plastic and irritating character I've come across for a long while. At least in literature! And no marriage - believe me! - is ever that perfect.
Talking of which, I'd better start getting the birthday dinner ready for the homecoming (complete with the flowers I had sent today - hope it makes up for the lack of cake) Lord H: sausages, chips & beans, chocolate ice cream and champers. What more could you want?