Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Subtle Flavours at the Crispy Duck

This is not a food blog. I am almost the most non-foodie person I know. And yet. When in London I am always on a hungry high, waiting for the next plate of something I can't eat in Italy. Dim sum. Persian. Excellent Lebanese. A bottomless glass of ale. Not-too-bad coffee with an exciting view.

The last few days have been spent in London in the lead-up to my appearance at the Penzance Literary Festival, taking place this week. I have lazed in parks, had a beetroot margarita, bought more books and finally - in overheated agony - succumbed to a pair of flattish Campers on sale, which I tried on and my feet refused to allow me to remove. Bliss. No more elegant Italian heels but a pair of cutaway rose-coloured all-leather sandals. Feels like I am walking on cushions.

And Penzance. My first literary festival, where there will be some big names and some debut authors like myself. Flutter flutter! I've read books written by several of the other authors, two of which have given me a feel for a place I never imagined I would visit. Liz Fenwick's The Cornish House and Patrick Gale's A Perfectly Good Man. Great, enticing reads from a magical place I look forward to discovering.

Wish me luck! I'll be speaking with Liz Fenwick on Friday 25th at 2pm, the discussion will be moderated by author Sarah Duncan. I'll be the red-headed one staggering across the stage in a pair of python pumps..

Monday, 16 July 2012

Paris fix

We went to Paris. We were chic. Our dreams were sweet. Our meals were of the most nourishing calibre. At night we met old friends outside metro stops and wandered along footpaths bumping shoulders. We stole a taxi from an angry man. We had long baths. We walked out of a restaurant with too many guidebook stickers, too many foreigners talking about their European trips. We walked along the gutters. This was the city where we were once young, once so full of dreams we were blinded to most truths.

It was work of course. I was more of a mascot than anything else. The champagne tray gal. The gal who modelled the shoes. The chic skinny thing wearing Ale's dresses while buyers from Japan frowned and sketched and bowed. Many languages were spoken. There were stunning hats. And horses. The theme outside each pavillion was Hicksville and, coming from a country village where the hay lies strapped in massive bales on the clipped gold fields, this was odd, very odd.

We watched Italy lose the European Cup. Badly. We drank more champagne the day after. In the evenings as the light drew away people had picnic rugs in the parks and we saw bulls in the sky.