Well, I’m back! The Country Living Christmas Fair was quite amazing – I’ve never seen so many Christmas tree decorations/silk scarves/cinnamon candles etc and (this is important) so many people buying them, in my life. I’ve been to plenty of Christmas Fairs in my time, but this really took the biscuit. And of course it was great to be part of it, and siphon off some of the happy shoppers to come and listen to me burbling about my book, and the people and animals that made it happen.
It’s a lovely thing to be able to talk about something close to your heart, and have an audience who laughs with you, and shows genuine interest in the pretty pictures up on the screen. If any of you are reading this, thank you for being there and special thanks with extra gold stars to the brave souls who asked questions afterwards.
But when I had finished my talks, and signed my books, and threaded my way out through the exit with a steady stream of people carrying Christmas presents for the masses in bulging carrier bags, and trundled along on the tube and then leaped onto a train at Paddington, and finally got home – my, it was good to stand on the bridge over the stream and just let the sounds and scents of the countryside wash over me.
Home brings you back to earth, too. I was still on a bit of a high, as I stood on the bridge, but there were the geese to shut in. And the hens. And the sheep to find in the darkness and check. And Slip wanted an apple, and Harry bit Slip because he wanted one first so Slip needed his injured feelings soothed. And the dogs were pleased to see me, but reminded me that it was actually their supper time. And for the cat too. And when I was slow with supper, Scarab brought a mouse indoors instead and let it go. And then we had a mouse hunt around the kitchen with the mouse leading and going like the clappers pursued by me and the dogs (Scarab had lost interest in the mouse when he placed it on the floor: he was just making a point anyway). I opened the kitchen door, and the mouse shot through it and into the night, and by then the glamour of London was a distant memory.
So I’m back and it was fab. And to coin a phrase (John Denver?) “gee but it’s great to be back home!”