Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Booker Prize-winning lunch

Well, not exactly.

Alright, not at all.

I was in Hatchards earlier. (Note: Hatchards is where the Royal Family buy books, it's probably the poshest bookshop in the world. So when her Royal Mummyness wants the new Jilly Cooper or when Prince Charles is desperate to get his hands on the latest Harry Potter they trip along to Hatchards. Obviously they don't trip along, someone else does. Or, more likely, Hatchards go to Buck House. Anyway, you get the general idea.)

Yes, it's posh, but Hatchards is great. Catering politely and discretely for a full spectrum of tastes, it's a thickly-carpeted, oak-panelled oasis of restraint.

Sounds like a high-class prostitute's.

Does it? Right.

Anyway it's a right royal pant-wetter for your average bibliophile. And today was even more pant-wettingly pleasant than usual because on the ground floor there was a photo-op involving the six shortlisted authors for the Booker Prize, prior to the announcement of the winner tonight. Flashbulbs blinded, photographers urged and staff fluttered around like delirious moths.

"Delirious moths"????? What ARE you on now?

Don't know sir.

Where's this thing going anyway? I thought it was a blog (a very intermitent blog) about "words". This is just waffle.

Waffle is words. No?

No, waffle is rambling nonsense that doesn't make any point and uses up valuable life. Waffle is what you get in dull meetings when the person with the least to say insists on saying it at interminable length while everyone else just nods quietly hoping they'll SHUT THE FUCK UP. To sum up, waffle is bollocks. Clear?

Er, yes.

Right. Carry on

So there I was in Hatchards: photographers, flashbulbs, delirious moths. And six Booker Prize-shortlisted authors. At least I assume there were six but I couldn't see over the top of the photgraphers so there may not have been. I think I recognised Ian McEwan and some tall bald bloke who may or may not have been a writer. And someone who looked a bit like Jimmy Saville. Which could be male or female. Or even, Jimmy Saville.

But it was a celebration of words. Or at least a celebration of the fact that words can make lots of money for the publishing industry.

Eventually I ambled away from the literary scrum and sauntered upstairs where I idly flicked through books by people who can write better than me. And, as usual, I came away wishing there was more time to read and learn and write.

And then I bought a pie.

Which was the 'lunch' of the title.

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