Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reports, a quick shop and novel reading events

First off, here’s this morning’s meditation, which is possibly the one moment of calm I will get today:

Meditation 69

Before us lies
a rich and fertile land

but the way is barred
by regulations

so intricate
it is impossible

to keep them.
Easier to fall

into the sea’s warm beckoning,
let its salt embrace

cover your dreams.

I’ve spent the whole morning typing up a series of rather intricate corrections for an urgent report from the boss which he needed by lunchtime. My how I love a deadline. Though at least it does take my mind a little away from worries about tonight. I definitely do not feel at all in control right now. In fact I’m rather shaky. So shaky in fact that, when I drove in, I had an utter mental blank and couldn’t remember where I usually park my car. Even though I’ve been coming here for over four years and have never had any problems. With the result that I drove pathetically around the executive carpark trying to find the way out, then into the visitors carpark and got stuck and then finally found my way to the usual main one. Honestly, I don’t really know what was going on – I just panicked. The campus layout is a complete enemy to me today. Sigh. Really, anything could happen tonight … UPDATE: So far I’ve lost two of my helpers so am down to a stalwart two people – I hope they’re good at moving chairs … Mind you, on the plus side, we’ve managed to contact the English Society who are being wonderful too, so that's great.

Managed to pop into town at lunchtime to do a spot of shopping. Including buying more food for tonight, as I’m not sure there’s enough. Bearing in mind this morning’s geographical crisis, I also checked up on where the restaurant is tonight – and, yes you’ve guessed it, I went down the wrong street entirely and panicked again. Lordy I am a wimp to end all wimps. Still, I found it in the end without bursting into hysterical tears – just. I intend to start hyperventilating any moment now, as you can see … Mind you, it seems the first chance I’ve had for ages to go to Guildford indeed – and the walk in was nice. Did I even see sun? Ye gods and little fishes.

This afternoon, I signed off at 4.30pm to go and set up the room for the novel reading with the lovely Emma Darwin. I hope (a) there’s enough wine and nibbles; (b) people turn up but not too many people as that will be terrifying, frankly; (c) I don’t make a mess of my introduction; (d) I can keep up with the English Department intellect and at least understand one of the questions they ask (are translations available for the mentally challenged?...); (e) I don’t sound too stupid in my concluding thank yous; and (f) people apart from me buy the novels. I’m also hoping the dinner afterwards goes well and Olivo’s in Guildford remember we’re coming (and I remember where it is …). So, as you can see, I’m hugely calm and on top of it all. Ho ho. Still, I’m looking forward to Emma’s actual reading though. Can’t wait to buy the new book. UPDATE: it was fabulous and it all went very well, hurrah. I have no idea why I was in such a state - is it my hormones?? Anyway, Emma was fascinating (as ever), the English Society & the Department were fabulous and I even got chocolates (thank you, Fiona!). And dinner was great too. The only slight crisis was that I drove four of us including Emma into Guildford as taking one car from the Uni was just easier - and I actually couldn't find my way out of the ruddy carpark. Sarah had to direct me. Lordy, but I am a klutz. It's astonishing I get to the end of a normal day at all. Slinks off in embarrassment ...

Ooh, and at home I see a publisher has asked to see the full MS of The Gifting. Goodness me indeed!

Today’s nice things:

1. Poetry
2. The walk into town
3. The moment when Emma reads
4. Emma’s new book
5. Dinner out
6. A publisher requesting The Gifting.

Anne Brooke
Anne Brooke - whatever you do, don't ask me for directions ...

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