Saturday, October 25, 2008

A day with the Egypt Group

Lord H and I have spent a truly wonderful day today with the Egypt Group, to whom Maloney's Law is dedicated. In fact I couldn't have written the scenes where Paul stays in the Cairo hotel without Mike & Miriam, as they'd stayed in the particular hotel I wanted to use, and Lord H & I hadn't so I needed to pick their brains. For which, thank you, both! We met Mike & Miriam, and Chris & Mike when we were on our Nile cruise about five years ago and we just clicked instantly. They're fantastic people and, even if we haven't seen them for a while, we just click back into instant ease the moment we meet. It's fabulous.

So we had a great day. We set out a little earlier than need be (it's about a two-hour trip to Mike & Miriam's, where we all met up) and visited the RSPB headquarters first, as it's not too far from them. We managed to spot several coal tits (coal tits, hurrah! - you don't see many of them about ...), a nuthatch and a mistle thrush, so a great start to the day. Lord H also bought a pair of lined birding gloves, even though he was really after a winter birding coat. Ah well, maybe if we buy enough gloves, we can make him a coat?

From there, it was straight to the Egypt Group reunion and we talked and ate, ate and talked all day and have only just now got home at about 9pm. Naturally I gave them all free copies of Maloney (hell, they deserve it), and it's great as they're soooo enthusiastic about the books and ask all sorts of questions about the writing process and what's going on, etc etc. It's really lovely to get that as, to be honest, most of my real-world (rather than the virtual world!) non-writing friends seem mainly to be embarrassed about what I do "off piste" and don't really like to talk about the books. The Egypt Gang buy (except for this one, naturally!) and read all my stuff, are keen to chat and want to know what's happening next. And when it will be published. It's really lovely. It makes me feel accepted. Maybe it's because most of the people I know knew me before I started writing and don't really know how to handle this strange turn of events? Whereas the Egypt Group have only known me as a writer and have fully taken it on board as part of me. Either way, somehow they make me feel good about what I do and I value that. Big time. No, more than that: big BIG time. Somehow as a group, they make me feel more than the sum of my parts and they give me hope. Actually, I think we all do that for each other, though I don't really know how - hope and a sense of possibilities enabled is a large part of the group dynamic and seeing them powers me up for days. Wonderful!

Back home, I've videoed Strictly Come Dancing though I probably won't get time to watch it till tomorrow. I've voted for Jodie anyway as I love her to bits. And I've just finished Issue Twenty of Brittle Star poetry magazine, which I've really enjoyed. Particular favourites are Paul Blake's "Fall" (a tragedy in miniature), Mike Bannister's "The Green Man" (full of Medieval-style power), the bleakness of Rosemary Dillon's "Journey", and the amused wistfulness of Sylvia Rowbottom's "The Big A". Great stuff. Inspired (in a fashion) by all this, I've attempted another poem. Gosh, how brave:

Domestic trivia

I think it’s true
that when we’re out
someone sneaks in,

adds their ironing
to the laundry basket
and picks it up again
when I’m done.

While they’re here,
they could at least
do the dusting.

Today's nice things:

1. The Egypt Group
2. Unexpected birds
3. Talking about writing
4. Brittle Star magazine
5. Poetry.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website - almost a real writer, you know!...


Nik Perring said...

Coal tits, mistle thrush, nuthatch? Sounds like my common garden/just wandering around/driving around spots (well, nuthatch aside, they're more secretive buggers). Were you further north (closer to me) than normal?

Good to hear you had a great day.


Anne Brooke said...

Lucky you - we never see coal tits down here! We were in Bedfordshire.



Anonymous said...

Hi Anne

I've tagged you! (Sorry!) It's a new tag based on that Spread the Word post from the other day - details here:

Feel free to ignore if you don't want to do it!


Anne Brooke said...

Thanks for the thought, Caro! - though I must admit to not being a great tag fan!



Nik Perring said...

Not that far north then!

N :)

Anne Brooke said...

Well, we didn't want to get too excited, Nik!



Nik Perring said...