Monday, July 12, 2010

Shows, Graduations and Conferences

Since my last post there have been three Notable Events. All of them in London and occasioning Very Bad Feet. The first was daughter Phillipa's final show at the Royal Academy of Music. She played Sarah Jane Moore in Sondheim's Assassins and was, of course, brilliant. So she can act, now? I couldn't walk the following day.

Next, the graduation. Held in St Marylebone Church, a beautiful building right opposite the Academy. Best friend Elly's dad Graham and I were the chosen two and travelled up at the crack of sparrows to be seated at 9. The ceremony began at 10 15, but we were entertained by the Academy's Brass ensemble, which was superb. Apart from the graduands, Fellowships and Memberships of the Academy were introduced by the wonderfully voiced John Suchet and we were treated to a terrific jazz tuba piece by one of the honours students. After all the pomp and circumstance everything went a bit to pot, as there were free drinks in the Duke's Hall. Needless to say, our little group, now enhanced by two other members of Philly's course, a twin and a mother, were the last to leave having consumed our own bodyweight in wine. We managed to get to Pizza Express to have a rather late lunch, then the proud graduands left to get ready for their ball (held in the Gorilla House at London Zoo???)

Due to this once in a lifetime experience I missed my grandson's fourth birthday and got into trouble with my elder daughter.

Finally, the RNA 50th Anniversary conference. Now, I know I don't write romance, but, as I've said before, most of my mates do. So off I went, again at sparrow's, and eventually dragged myself and case from Greenwich Station to the conference venue at the farthest point of the Royal Naval College on the hottest day of the year. I, my feet, knees and hips were complaining bitterly by this time and it was only ten o'clock! My friend Bernardine nobly agreed to show me where the accomodation was after lunch. This turned out to be In Greenwich. Not on site. Off we went. Then back we went to listen to the inestimable Carole Blake, agent extraordinaire (unfortunately not mine). Then, oh, my, back to the accomodation, whereupon Bernardine, Susan Alison (wonderful artist who drew the map for my books) and I decided to order a taxi to go to the Gala Dinner in The Trafalgar Tavern that evening rather than risk the hoi polloi of Greenwich - and the distance - in our finery.

It had been, apparently 32 degrees all day. If I could have gone home at that point, I would have done. However, the Gala Dinner was lovely, and although we didn't manage to make contact with many people (terrible crush, my dear) many friends were duly greeted.

The following day, in loose white and feeling like an Indian gentleman, off I went again on the long trek. Today, however, Bernardine, Susan, a friend from the US, Rosemary, and I appropriated a table in the courtyard and refused to move All Day. We remained cool. We attended no sessions, but received friends and admirers at our table with a gracious wave of our hands. We even decided not to go back to the accomodation before the evening bar and barbecue, also held in the courtyard. Altogether a more relaxing day.

Yesterday, morning spent in the courtyard, attended the plenary speech by Joanna Trollope, a lot of which I didn't agree with, (with which...Huh?) had lunch, back to the courtyard and then a lift all the way home with the lovely Jane Wenham-Jones, with whom I share a publisher. We shall be doing an event together for Ramsgate Arts on August Bank Holiday. Thanks, Jane.

Apart from the depredation of hips, knees and feet, three good events. If I receive any pictures, I shall upload them at a future time. I am also pleased to announce the return of son Leo to the blogosphere and online in general. And thank you, son Miles, for looking after the cats. And happy birthday Louise for tomorrow, July 13th.

Now back to the revisions.


Anita Burgh said...

You've made me feel so much better abou not getting to the conference this year. If you were b******* I'd have expired!
Lovely description though,

Lesley Cookman said...

You'd have been at that table with us, Annie!

Cara Cooper said...

I shall definitely think about your method of conference going next year Lesley, I didn't realise there was a 'fringe' event like the Edinburgh fringe taking place in that glorious courtyard. Sounds like it was great fun. I have a lovely vision of you all in state while we just rushed around!

Unknown said...

Like Annie said, you've made me feel better about not going to the conference too. Blimey, as soon as I heard about the promised temperatures, I wilted. And, of course, I'm now of an age when walking or standing - in fact doing anything away from my desk - half kills me.
Glad you had a doing nothing All Day session. Far more my thing.
Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

wonderful to see you while you held court :-) It was the perfect spot I have to say.


Susan Alison said...

Heh. Great description, Lesley - and so fab to catch up with you. I think I would have been a complete wreck but for our 'holding-court' day - although, I learnt so much from simply talking to people that I'm totally buzzing with ideas now.

And thank you for suggesting I sign my map!!!

Am glad you got a lift home. I ended up sharing a taxi to Paddington, which made things much easier, but was pleased to get home and collapse in a heap.

Sarah Callejo said...

I was so pleased to meet you and very happy to be admitted at your table for half an hour. I learnt and laughed a lot during that while too.
Sarah xx

Lesley Cookman said...

Thanks, everyone, for the comments. I really only go to the conferences for the social side of them, and, as a crime writer, most of the sessions aren't relevant for me. But meeting everyone face to face is fab.

Talli Roland said...

Oh, I wish I'd known about your table! I would have come rested my poor battered feet!