Great word shenanigans – “silly behaviour, mischief” or “dishonest manoeuvring”. I hope I haven’t been doing any of the latter.
SO! Tuesday the major magazine contact me to confirm travel arrangements to Friday’s photo shoot. It is actually happening then. Yikes. Travel expenses paid. Hair, make up, clothes and lunch all laid on. This does begin to feel a little bit like dishonest manoeuvring. I am not a celebrity. I am alternately grinning at the mischief and questioning my silly behaviour. The word fits, you see. Friends are beside themselves with the excitement of it all. I cannot count the number of messages I have received this week that include the word famous, or allude to my non-existent celebrity status.
“From farmer’s wife to international superstar!”
“Will we see you Saturday or are you too busy now that you’re famous?”
“Just remember we knew you when you were nothing.”
Sarky buggers my mates. But in truth they’ve been great. Every single one of them, friends and family both. Openly delighted for me. Sharing the adventure with gusto. It’s all a bit humbling really, I’ve only written a book.
“Bring a copy of your book.” The magazine said, “We’ll try to get it in shot.” Ridiculous luck on my part (the luck of ED being a smoking hot PR and pulling out all the stops for her ma). Or it would have been luck, if I had a copy of the book. Said elusive treasure was currently winging its way across the Atlantic with no tracking process that worked. I gazed despairingly at my mocked up ‘Guardian Careers’ with my front cover stuck on it, and wondered if I had the gall to turn up clasping that.
On Thursday, mid-Tesco-shop, I received that very rare thing – a text from The Husband. “Book is here” (the farmer uses words sparingly). A few hurried and unusual grocery purchases later and I was charging home to meet the new arrival.
I’m in love. I can’t stop grinning. Even the battered corner (it was a long and arduous delivery) cannot dampen my adoration. My words inside a book cover. I accept that I’m biased. I am sure we all think our babies books are the cutest on the planet. Pre-Friday photo shoot the book remained firmly inside its bent cardboard packaging. Wrapped in a polythene bag. Beneath a lap top and the Oxford Reference Dictionary (in an attempt to correct the very minor birth defect). I cradle it protectively and let interested parties view from afar. Even I dare not open the pages for fear of despoiling its beauty before it has been photographed.
On Friday I’m at the station, ticket in hand, twenty minutes early. Chilly morning, Friday, but the book was fine inside its personal suitcase, swaddled in thee layers of bubble wrap (OK, I’m exaggerating now. But it is true that the handle of the bag did not come out of my hand for the entire journey, so great was my fear of leaving it on the train). Beautiful ED, my home-grown PR is lounging outside the studio in wait for me, looking every bit the part. I worry that the magazine will be sorely disappointed when they work out which one of us they have got to photograph. YD (you work it out) wanted to cancel riding and uni to join me too. I put her off in case the studio wouldn’t let her in. Bless my girls.
What an experience! Lovely group of women. I was pampered and coiffed by the beautiful Juan who could not have been kinder. ED is networking furiously, and throwing my book under the noses of anyone who looks important. I am in 6” heels (the hip is still complaining), wearing individual false eyelashes and £140 pink jeans (I photographed the label and looked them up). That isn’t me in the picture above by the way. I am considerably wider and shorter than your average model. Not to mention twice the age. When the photographer looked through her lens and called “sad crease” I thought she was talking about my face. She was actually referring to the fall of my jeans. Much easier to rectify. Make up, hair, and fashion rushed on between shots to adjust my fringe, straighten my clothes and add lipstick. I am not usually adept at smiling for the camera but my rising levels of hysteria at the situation I found myself in helped considerably on this occasion.
A lovely end to the week; family lunch at the farm to see the Gallivanting Granny off to Oz, with copious amounts of Australian fizz to toast her on her way. We’ve been attempting to connect her back to us by way of Hudl and a Facebook account. I could tell you more about our efforts, but I think that’s a whole other blog, and GG is on the phone. Telling me that airport WIFI doesn’t work.