Birmingham and Annie B (again)

I’ve had a busy few days.  Or rather I had a busy few days earlier in the week; I’ve spent yesterday and today at home trying to rest and relax and give myself a bit of TLC as I fight off joint aches, a sore throat, a thumping head and general not-feeling-well.  But the first half of the week was fabulous.

The rather lovely Annie Burkin featured in Hot Holidays! on 8th June, and that evening her play Selfie Rules had a rehearsed reading at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East.  I went along to see it and left in absolute awe at what Annie had created.  To be honest, for the first five or ten minutes I thought it was going to be stereotypical caricatures, but then the talented cast seemed to relax into it and I was totally captivated.  Of course, being the Luddite that I am, some of the Facebook and social media references went right over my head, after all, Facebook is a foreign country where I stand helpless at its borders clutching my passport, trying not to confuse my unfollow with my unfriend, not always successfully.

But Annie knocked it out of the ball park.  I really hope she’s going to take the play on further and wish her all the best with it.

On Wednesday I went awayday to Birmingham for a business lunch with the wonderful Kim Nash and we were joined by the amazing author Christie Barlow (A Year In the Life of a Playground Mother) who also featured in Hot Holidays! last year.  Fabulous meal as it always is in Turtle Bay – and the Jamaican Mules!  Wow! – and great 3-hour+  conversation which covered both business and pleasure and which I left feeling very upbeat and positive about projects I have on the go at the moment (in spite of my temperature!).  One of the projects I’m starting is a Book Show on Gateway 97.8 in a few week’s time.   Any authors reading this please get in touch, especially if you are Essex based, as I will be doing an in-depth author interview during each programme.  And once Kim and Christie had headed into New Street Station to wend their way back to Cannock, I wandered round to the Bull to meet up with my dear, old pal Lyn with whom I spend another 3+hours, before I headed back to Euston.  I was so fortunate that my train was running four minutes late or I would have missed it!  We were so engrossed in our conversation we didn’t realise what the time was and I arrived on Platform One huffing, puffing and breathless; trying hard to breathe through my blocked nose and with my head pounding, grateful, grateful, grateful to see that the train had a slight delay and was only just approaching the platform.

And in spite of feeling poorly, I’ve soldiered on yesterday and today with my writing on The Banjo.  I’m pleased with the way it’s developing.  As always it seems to know where it wants to go and the characters are doing what they like and showing me the plot twists they’ve been hiding.  The Banjo will be out this winter.


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