In these times of gloom and doom, every now and again a day glows out like a warm ember, and it’s enough to keep you going through the cold.
Saturday was one of those days. I went to visit the lovely Chicken House, to make a couple of quick videos for the launch of The Look next year. Now, most authors have to travel from the country to the metropolis to see their publishers. For me, it’s the other way around. But I love visiting Frome in Somerset. It feels like the centre of the craft and vintage universe, and you can’t get much better than that for me. (And yes, despite all the gloom and doom I bought a pink silk vintage tea dress, a necklace, a few Christmas presents and an amazing arrangement of narcissi in an old chamber pot. I came home weighed down with bags, but not having spent very much money – the perfect combination.)
The Chicken House offices are one of my favourite places. They’re very arty and bohemian and as soon as you step through the door you just know you’re in good hands. I hope they don’t mind me showing you a few pictures – of some chickens (there are, as you can imagine, several); the window, which they dressed up for the day to look like my own personal book window (thank you!); the table where THEY DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO BUY THAT MANUSCRIPT YOU JUST SLAVED OVER; and Barry’s famous hat.
I was videoed by a promising young film maker called Gulliver Moore, who made the trailer for The Look (which you can see on YouTube), and who I hope did a brilliant job of disguising my many chins. For those of you who have read Threads, think slightly Harry, but wearing proper shoes, and you’ll know how happy I was to meet him.
I thought we’d be there for days, with me doing trillions of takes, because I find it really, really HARD to talk about the book, and what it means to me, and what I was trying to do in a short and pithy way. However, with the help of Tina, who’s a bit of a wizz as a director among her many other talents, we were out in time for lunch. And we got to eat the table decorations – which were a selection of extremely yummy cupcakes.
Some days just make you smile.