Up at 6am on Monday, for Start the Week, which had involved some serious homework in preparation; though it was a pleasure to meet Michael Peppiatt, and to discover his wonderful book, 'In Giacometti's Studio'. Slid home through the snow to write my Telegraph column, glad to be coming home to warm house rather than leaking Parisian studio, like poor Mrs Giacometti, then panicked about lack of Christmas preparations. Car was snowed in, so set out on foot to buy food supplies: fish pie for dinner, but two hands not enough to carry home any further shopping. Yesterday: got car out, drove to Muswell Hill, realized that the rest of north London had followed the same impulse, and we were all stuck in the M&S car park, which hadn't been gritted. If anyone is reading this who knows said-car-park, you will understand the skidding and panic that ensued on surely steepest gradient in London.
On the up side, the fish pie was delicious, and my amazon deliveries have arrived in time. On the downside, I still have two dozen presents to buy, and am steeling myself for a trip to the West End. Oh rapturous joy...
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
I'll be at Daunt Books in Chelsea tomorrow evening (7pm, December 15th) talking about Coco Chanel, and signing books (if anyone is out and about doing their Christmas shopping). Here's the address: 158-164 Fulham Road, London SW10 9PR; tickets available at the shop or telephone 0207 373 4997. Please do come if you can... I can offer wine, conversation, and a very surprise guest...
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Still grappling with how to email pictures from my new iphone (I am foxed, even though everyone says it is so easy), but just managed to send one -- a very small one -- which goes no way to show the beauties of the Bowood garden on a frosty morning. The lake was frozen over, the folly wreathed in mist, the last of the roses as icy as those beside a fairytale Sleeping Beauty, but the landscape still felt astonishingly alive, as a heron swooped low from the sky.
Back in London, I am staring into abyss of What To Write Next. I feel lost without Coco, and longing to be absorbed into something (someone?) new; but guilty at the thought of abandoning her.
What do readers really want? Not that one can write a book by second-guessing the market; that way madness lies...
But I'd love to know what people here think... Is anyone out there?
Sunday, 5 December 2010
I'm off to Wiltshire to do a talk about Chanel at Bowood tomorrow; and very much hoping that the freezing fog lifts so that I can see the glories of the garden in winter. Last time I was there the rhododendrons were in magnificent bloom, huge drifts of them, and the wisteria was blossoming in the walled garden. It seems such a long time ago, but I'm sure there are hidden pleasures to be found in the frosty landscape of Capability Brown.