Tuesday 21 August 2018

Things there are no photos of by Anne Booth


I am sitting in a bit of a tired stupor on the sofa and have realised that it is the 21st in under half an hour and so my date to write a blog post.

Why am I so tired? (Apart from it being 11.31p.m.)

I have had a very busy few weeks. Here are some photos:

I went to Oxford and saw a wonderful window display of my latest book 'The Magical Kingdom of Birds: The Sleepy Hummingbirds', illustrated by Rosie Butcher, in the OUP shop, signed some books and  met the lovely manager. Lovely Fraser Hutchinson from OUP marketing took the picture.

I did some workshops about The Magical Kingdom of Birds at this gorgeous place

Waddesdon Manor

Here are some things I brought along for the workshops:

And here am I showing Rosie Butcher's illustrations, and holding a brilliant toy magpie I bought.

However, other things were happening in my own life, and I don't have photos of them.

Like GOING TO THE GYM (absolutely no photos here) as I have got so unfit over these past years I have FINALLY signed up for the gym and some one to one sessions with an extremely kind and good and beautiful trainer called Poppy who is in her early twenties and fitter and more mature than me. Today, I was lying on the mat after a VERY tiring thing which was really only raising my legs with a rubber band around them, and I said 'OH, I could just go to sleep now', and Poppy said kindly but firmly, 'Anne, we are only 16 minutes into the session....'

Like  rushing off to London after the workshops and going to see my goddaughter, who had just graduated from acting school, in a play for children (her very first professional acting role as a brilliant singing teaspoon and fork ) and getting stuck when the District line stopped and rushing off to catch a bus and getting there late and flustered. (She is very good, by the way, and has just got her second acting role, so watch this space - I hope there will be lots of photos of her I can share!)

Like our dog Ben having a general anaesthetic and five teeth out.  Which was a worry but he is fine.

Like organising the burial of my dad's ashes last week, something which took a great deal of organisation and worry over the past year but which we finally have done. He is buried in a beautiful peaceful place where my mother and brother's ashes were scattered years ago, (but which changed its policy and wouldn't allow ashes to be scattered there any more but finally allowed a special dispensation for burial ) and where he wanted to be.  That was a huge relief which is only just sinking in.

Like celebrating the birthday of my eldest daughter the next day. I have no photos because finding photos all my family will accept to be shared is IMPOSSIBLE. But it was lovely and so is she.

Oh and I baked a lovely cake, if I say so myself. It was just a round chocolate  sponge but it had nutella icing and I melted chocolate for the top and put loads of chocolate buttons on it. But I didn't take a photo as I was too busy trying not to let the candles all melt all over it and it was late after a concert and we were all hungry.

Like going to two great folk music concerts in one week AND 'Incredibles 2' (which is excellent). A very unusual and delightful bit of the week.

Like having two of our family get their A level results (sigh of relief and happiness  that they are both going where they want to, but too many young people we know are feeling stressed and disappointed by exams which do not reflect their abilities).

Like worrying unnecessarily about each of my four children (who are lovely and patient about my over imaginative worrying). I can't really take author photos of me worrying unnecessarily. You wouldn't want to see them anyway.

Like the fact that my side of my bedroom looks like a book case has collapsed (it hasn't) and there are so many books which have tumbled on to the floor and I NEED TO SORT IT. And there are no photos of that either.

So, behind every author's promotional pictures are all the many many more non pictures of non-events, and the lovely promotional pictures wouldn't even be there without the books which were written over many non-photographed days in the messy busy non-pictured life alongside the family who won't often be photographed but are central to everything. And I'm not sure exactly what I'm saying, except that I am very very proud of pictures of beautiful window displays and I feel so lucky to have gone to a place like Waddesdon Manor but they are the icing on the cake and most of the time I am rushing around trying to get the ingredients together, never mind actually baking the thing... And I depend on others to do the icing...like my wonderful agent and editors and lovely people like Fraser and Hannah and bookshop managers and talented people creating windows displays...

And I am going on holiday this week and I am really looking forward to it...

So here is a picture of my dogs at least, as they have never vetoed a photo. And they look lovely.  Happy day to you all, whether you are photographed in it or not!


Joan Lennon said...

Phew! Congratulations on all that too, and I'm glad you have a holiday soon!

Hilary Hawkes said...

Wow, I'm exhausted just reading that! Your book looks wonderful :) Don't worry too much about the gym, although it does it easier in time. You could always try mindful walking for relaxation and exercise - it's a thing. Have a lovely holiday x

Penny Dolan said...

A beautifully full and busy life - even with the sorrowful moments - and lovely pictures too. Congratulations on the book, Anne.

Anne Booth said...

Thank you everyone. x