Saturday, 10 November 2012


I celebrated two small but lovely anniversaries in the past week or so... Firstly, 10 years ago on the 31st of October, I found my way to the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham which was hosting Will Self for the evening. Will Self is my absolute favourite writer of all time equal with Vladimir Nabokov. But more on that in another post for another time. On 31st October 2002, Will Self did a reading from his (then) new novel Dorian, followed by some questions from the audience and an opportunity to talk to Will and get your copy of the book signed. I spent about 3 weeks thinking up glorious deep and intellectual remarks and got all prepared, waited politely with my book in my hand. But it was not to be. As Will Self turned to greet me, I froze for a few awkward seconds, before thrusting my copy of Dorian at him and spluttering, slightly too fast and too loud, "HELLOMYNAMEISANNA".

In mitigation, I was very young (only 18) and already a bit nervous as I had only moved to Nottingham a few weeks earlier and was unfamiliar with my surroundings and was there on my own (couldn't persuade any of my new uni contemporaries to join). And he was, as far as I can remember, very pleasant and eloquent and patient and engaging. And he signed my book thus:


Will Self's latest novel, the Booker-nominated Umbrella, recently both was published and lost out on the Booker to Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies (which Mark has declared one of the best books ever and so perhaps we can allow this indiscretion on the part of the Booker judges...). On 31st October 2012, I went to buy it from the bookshop after work.


It's my Christmas present, really, so it's wrapped up in its bag until then, but I am so excited for my Christmas reading time. Especially so since Umbrella has been featured in the Guardian's list of the '10 most difficult books to finish'. I do love a book challenge.

And secondly? Secondly was my 9 year anniversary with Mark, on the 5th November. After a few fireworks-free years in Australia, it was nice to be back at Forest Fields watching the fireworks after a bottle of champagne and three courses at Petit Paris...


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