Wednesday, 13 November 2013

MrsM among the Literati

Slightly Foxed is that most delicious of things
a small, independent, idiosyncratic publisher
producing beautiful limited edition books
and an entertaining quarterly literary journal.
We are devoted fans.

When MissM worked in the Slightly Foxed office
they were discussing their first Readers' Day
and although I could not go on that occasion
I was determined to attend this year.

The event was held in the extraordinary
Art Workers' Guild in Queens Square.
A building full of Arts & Crafts furniture.
I wanted to explore so badly
but only managed a few bad photos.

Do you know Sara Wheeler?
Antarctic traveller and writer,
biographer of Cherry Gerard.
Sarah entertained us without notes for an hour,
a remarkable feat with a newly broken arm.

Sue Gee introduced her new book "Coming Home"
a semi-autobiographical novel
about a family leaving India at the end of Empire
by contrasting it with Paul Scott's "Staying On".
I am a huge fan of Sue Gee.
but regret to report
I was struck absolutely dumb with awe
whenever she stood next to me.

I really enjoyed the talk by Ursula Buchan
about the Dig for Victory campaign
carefully illustrated with original posters
photographs and publicity material.

It was a real privilege to hear Sir Quentin Blake
describing his work and recent projects,
whimsical artwork leaping off the page
onto buses, hospitals and buildings.
One of the pictures showed the massive hoarding
outside St. Pancras for the Royal Opening.
Happy memories indeed.

I met a lovely new friend, Helen,
and explained that it is obligatory
to drink wine at literary lunches.
She agreed immediately.
I could not have wished for
a more delightful companion.

There was the slightly alarming sight
of a room full of the nicest type of lady
drinking grog in the middle of the afternoon
after a discussion of the novels of Patrick O'Brian.
Only at the Slightly Foxed Readers' Day.

Virgina Ironside has identified "ga-ga sagas",
a lucrative gap in the market for oldie fiction,
and described the trials of growing old disgracefully.
The Readers' Day audience loved her.
I must admit I was still thinking about Russell Crowe.

There was soooo much cake:
Frances, the lady who bakes, said:
"It is a labour of love".
And everyone who enjoyed them agreed with her.

One of the nicest things in a delightful day
was a chance meeting with
Karen of Cornflower Books.
It is a blog that I read and admire
for interesting, erudite recommendations.
Luckily, I did not recognise Karen
so I was not overcome with fright.


Thank you to everyone at Slightly Foxed,
it was a most enjoyable day.
I am looking forward to next year already.

1 comment:

  1. One remembers fondly attending a literary event on ones own (slightly trepidatious) and accepting the offer of "a single spare seat up the front for anyone who hasn't found a chair yet...c'mon people last chance" ... well when one decided "bugger it I'll take it" one was rewarded with discovering (upon sitting down) that it was indeed a seat right next to the guest speaker of the day ... Mrs Jodi Picoult. One was rather (smugly) delighted!! ♥♥♥


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