Monday, 12 March 2012

Book signing at Stanfords 10 March

I was a little nervous about the book signing at Stanfords bookshop in Bristol. I spent the night before practicing my signature. 'Bloody hell mum,' said Anne, 'if you can't even write your name you might as well give up now.'

I got down to Bristol city centre in plenty of time. Mick met me at the station and we had a little wander then went for a coffee. I went to the loo. I didn't think I'd been gone long, just brushing my hair, re-applying mascara etc. etc. but suddenly my phone rang.
It was Mick who had been waiting outside. 'What the bloody hell are you doing in there? It's five to twelve!'
'Shit.' I sprinted down Park Street and across the city centre and charged through the doorway into the bookshop.
'I'm Ellie,' I gasped to the woman behind the counter.

She smiled and said she would fetch the manager from downstairs which gave me a few of seconds to regain my composure. Having been introduced I gratefully sat down at a table behind a daunting pile of my books. It was a lovely sunny spot by the window and it was a gorgeous day; one of those early spring ones when it is unseasonably warm and everyone feels like they  overdressed that morning.

Soon lots of people were gathered round, asking about the ride. Once they have read the book everyone will know what a hopeless cyclist I really am. 'Oh yes, it's a great thing to do, cycling End to End,' I enthused, failing to mention that I had started crying even before we got out of Devon. (Near Okehampton if you must know.) Still, nice to bask in the glory for now, until my cover is blown.

The hour flew by and, by the end, the pile of books had almost disappeared. Mick asked for the poster from behind the desk, hoping to take it without me seeing. Apparently he was going to frame it and give it to me later as a surprise. Gob-on-a-stick that I am, I managed to ruin that.
'Why did you get that poster?' I whined. 'I saw you. I wanted that.'
'It is for you, you silly mare.'

All-in-all though I had a lovely time - and I'd like to say a great big thank you to Stanfords for hosting it for me.

Afterwards I went for a drink to celebrate. After everyone else had drifted off Mick and I headed down to the Bag of Nails in Hotwells. By now I was a little merry. Luke - if you are wondering who stole the 1951 edition of the Bristol guide by Tudor Edwards from the Ladies' loo - it was me. Sorry. It was so tremendously interesting I put it in my handbag. (I'm not being facetious, it was interesting.) I'll bring it back.

Beer in the Bag of Nails - and a fast moving barman. Or a shaky cameraman. Or both.

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