Tuesday, 22 April 2008


Sunny, warm, perfect!

This is the most spectacular day. Is this the first day of Spring? You'd think I'd know. Well, if it isn't it should be. So, with the power vested in me by myself I want to wish you all HAPPY SPRING!

Glorious day in London. Picture perfect. Sunny and almost hot.

We went off to dinner last night to the OXO building, which is on the south bank. Peter newsom, from Headline, chose it. It's apparently quite well known. It's an old industrial building - the (you guessed it) Oxo company building. Now it's design studios and on the top this amazing restaurant right on the Thames looking across the St Paul's Cathedral, and Somerset House and all sorts of iconic London sights. As the sun set, and the lights came on in the buildings it was almost enough to make me weep. Splendid.

And Peter was very, very funny - telling us about the perils of export sales. Namely visiting countries he's unfamiliar with, like japan and korea. Places where the food and customs were quite unfamiliar. He said he was once at quite an important business dinner in Japan and ate the table decoration.

Today Michael and I worked on our books in the morning - our usual cherished routine. Then a car came for me and I headed off to the Headline International Authors lunch, which was basically two writers from South Africa who write under one name - Michael Stanley. The book ( a first) is called A Carrion Death. I haven't read it, but it's getting great buzz and seems like one to buy! It's set in Botswana. And the two men are lovely. I'm trying to convince them to come to Bouchercon in Baltimore this year.

Mike Ripley was there as well - one of my favorite people. Wonderful reviewer, columnist for Shotsmag, and writer. I'm reading his book: Boudica and the Lost Roman. He's also an archeologist and gave me a Roman jug he excavated a few years ago. It's so deeply moving to hold it and think of the hands that first held it. The man, or perhaps woman, who made it. And what their lives were like.

Two women, Anna and Sarah, were there from the Borders Airport bookstores. They order the books. Good people to know - but loads of fun too. We talked about the books we'd pretended to have read. More than I care to admit to.

Once home Michael and I walked through the gorgeous afternoon sun to The Kings Road for a hot chocolate and pastry at Paul's Cafe, then to Holy Trinity Church on Sloane street to see his sister Carol's exhibition. She's one of a number of artists with a group show on now. The church is wonderful...it serves as an active church for the parish, but has chosen the arts as a vocation, and so supports artists in the area. of which there are a few. Carol is an extremely gifted artist and it was great to see her show.

And now home. Reading the Times, the Evening Standard and The Independent. And OK magazine. Mustn't raise the bar too high.

Only a couple more days in London - but we'll be back in a month, so not too upset about leaving. Besides, I miss home, and the puppies, Maggie and Trudy. Sent them a card. God help us, we're that sort of dog people.

Be well.

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