When we were talking about dates for the launch party of A Single to Rome we realised that the best date for me, the book and Waterstones was the same day that the Christmas Market was going to open in Bath, and Nicolas Cage was coming to turn on the Christmas lights. In our innocence, we thought that while people might have problems parking, it would attract more people.
I happened to be teaching a class that finished just before six and started to stroll up towards Milsom Street and Waterstones. A lot of people were milling about but hey, it was the first day of the Christmas Market and it's always popular. I wasn't concerned until I came to the first barrier. The man in the fluorescent tabard was adamant. I couldn't go through. I explained where I was trying to get to and he pointed out that the platform where Nicolas Cage was going to perform the ceremony was stationed on Milsom Street, right in front of Waterstones. "You'll never make it,' he cheerfully informed me, obviously infused with the spirit of Christmas.
So I tried elsewhere. I tried the back lanes. No hope. I went up Broad Street, trying to cut through the upmarket shopping centre. No chance there. I circled round the centre of Bath, but there was no room at the inn. Hard faced policemen Perhaps if I'd had a donkey in tow someone would have taken pity on me. I spent the start of my launch party sitting on some hard stone steps surrounded by people wearing glow-in-the-dark reindeer antlers.
And the thing that really, really rankles? One of my friends told a policeman at the barricades she had a launch party to go to urgently, and she was escorted through the crowds, like Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard. Huh! It should have been ME!
Come to the launch party for Kissing Mr Wrong, 6.30pm on 20th May at Waterstones, Milsom Street, Bath. All welcome, but please ring 01225 448515 to let them have an idea of numbers.