Monday 21 February 2011

What Remains of the Day

So we turn up at the Garrick a couple of weeks ago for a dinner with a friend and we realize we are punctual – i.e. fashionably early. The most English of all English gentlemen welcomes us in Italian and serves us a drink "on the house", then starts telling us about his life – he is a well-known journalist, we discover. He was very communicative – that is to say, fairly drunk. The following day we sent him a thank you note and a book for his warm welcome to the club, and he thanked us and asked us where he had met us. . .

The food at the Garrick was excellent – so was the company. But that was to be surpassed a few days later, when we had our Alma get-together at the Calder Bookshop. About a dozen of our authors came to the party – some of them travelling hundreds of miles – and we had such a good time until Rosie Alison, of all people, told me there was a typo on p.11 of The Very Thought of You. Now, if she had just announced that someone had burgled our flat, I would have just smiled. But that night I didn't sleep at the thought of having made the world 100,000 typos richer – and the first thing I did the following morning was to make the change on our InDesign file. I have never been so keen on a reprint in my entire publishing life. . .

And today we had the wonderful launch of our Opera Guide series at Notes, the café next door to the Coliseum. The crème de la crème of the operatic world was there, and I was a hero for a night, after being such a publishing villain to the series editor in the last couple of weeks. Anyway, all's well that ends well – and well it did end, as we swung round to the Two Brydges club, where the food is excellent, and where you can still, decently, in the heart of London, place your order in Italian.

Got a whole bunch of books during the last week – I must bring you up to date with some of them one of these days.


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