I’ve probably mentioned that when I was an office assistant, I used to stand at the photocopier and dream about one day being taken seriously as a writer, meeting my readers and working with an amazing agent! If that young woman could have seen what would happen on 16 May 2018, she’d have literally jumped for joy…. Just as I am jumping for joy right now.
The day started with my arrival at St Pancras at 10.26 am. I immediately headed to Doughty Street to meet my new agent Piers, and to say I was excited would be an understatement! This picture shows just how nervous and ecstatic I was to be there, as I reached the corner of his street!
My meeting with Piers was wonderful. We spoke about my career – what I’ve achieved so far and what I hope to achieve in the future. I don’t want to jinx anything by announcing what my plans are, but let’s just say that I’m really happy with the direction I am taking, and the new projects I am currently working on. Watch this space for more news, when I have it!
My next stop was Charles Dickens’ house, which is just a few steps away from my agent’s office. Here I am, just about to go inside and meet my friend Gabriella, for lunch. As you can see, I was REALLY happy with the way the meeting had gone, and excited about seeing Gabriella and eating in Charles Dickens’ house!
The museum is a perfect place for lunch, and to think that I was walking in the footsteps of such a great literary man was just mind-blowing. Things like that truly are a blessing to me. I get so much inspiration from the great people of the past, and it seemed a really fitting time to give Gabriella a copy of The Girl. She was overwhelmed and I’m sure she’ll forgive me for telling you that there were tears! Lots and lots of tears!
Gabriella is an amazing person. She has so much enthusiasm for life and her film-making career that I couldn’t help but come home feeling totally inspired by her. And before I go on, I must just thank Gabriella for personally walking me all the way back to the train platform when it was time to go home. That little touch of kindness meant such a huge amount to me.
After lunch was finished, we went on a walk to see a few blue plaques, including the sight of the home once lived in by Virginia Woolf, and a bust of her in the park opposite. I stupidly forgot to take a photograph, but I was really touched to see those places. While I was there, I also thought about author Helene Hanff, who loved Bloomsbury even more than I do, and whose book, 84 Charing Cross Road is one of my favourites. If you love London and you want to see it through the eyes of Helene, I can thoroughly recommend not only 84 Charing Cross Road, but also The Duchess of Bloomsbury, which is all about her trip to London in the 1970s.
Once we had finished our walk, we ended up at the University cinema, which was where our Q and A took place. This picture shows Benjamin and Stefan from Germany, Hanna and myself, before the event. Benjamin and Stefan even gave me some delicious German macarons, and then it was time for the event itself. I must say that because it was in the form of a discussion, my nerves weren’t as bad as I expected. I actually had a lovely time chatting with Gabriella and Catherine on stage, and then we had some thought-provoking questions afterwards. Lots of photos were taken by the professional photographer, and also a podcast is being prepared for those who want to listen online. I will share those when I get them, but for now a big thank you to Benjamin for taking this picture of us in action!
After the event had finished, a few of us went out for tea at a lovely Bloomsbury tea shop, located in the basement of a beautiful old Victorian townhouse. It was so wonderful to have a relaxed cuppa and catch up with my friends and of course, some photos! In the first picture you can see my gorgeous friend Hanna, who is a Marilyn tribute artist, actress and beautiful soul. I have known Hanna for many years but this is the first time we’ve ever met! I’m just so thrilled we did.
The second picture is fabulous Gabriella and myself. Gabriella incidentally, arranged the entire afternoon with her friend Kate, and I’m so glad she talked me into it! Then we have the wonderfully talented Emm and me, and I’m looking really happy because Emm made me a beautiful crocheted Marilyn doll! Emm has a superb talent and has made dozens of dolls over the years. As she explained, they are her joy not her job, so it is an absolute pleasure for me to add one to my collection. I’m sure my dolly diva will make many appearances on my social media over the coming months!
Finally it was time for my train home, and I arrived to a crazy welcome from Betty the bichon on the platform (she brought Richard and Daisy with her of course!) and then home to a very welcome takeaway. Betty was much more interested in that than anything else I’d done during the day!
So that, in a nutshell was my beautiful day in Bloomsbury. I will never forget it for as long as I live, and I’ll always treasure the memories and be mighty grateful that I was able to enjoy such a positive, inspiring and loving day.
Today, everything is back to normal – Betty on her chair, snoring and barking at the postman, I’m catching up on emails, continuing my new book, and putting ideas into action…. I am aching and tired, but so, so happy. Thank you to everyone who made yesterday happen. You made this writer feel extremely blessed indeed.
Until next time,