vendredi 11 mai 2012
W is for Writers
W is for Writers
My friend Carol Wyer is a famous author. It’s true. Her first novel, Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines, regularly features in the charts and at this moment is a finalist in the Indie Book Awards (like tiny Oscars). Carol got invited to go to New York to the ceremony to collect an award, but it clashes with her next visit to France. France wins and if Carol does too they'll post the award.
On a visit to France last year, Carol agreed to come and give a talk to my creative writing and book groups. We gathered to welcome her in a friend’s house. No Carol. Unfortunately, I had given her the wrong house number and she ended up in the vicinity of the public swimming pool. Resourceful woman that she is, she tracked down the right house and was only a few minutes late.
You see, one of the problems here is that addresses don’t count for much. Yes, they can be useful if you’ve ordered some books from Amazon or knickers from M&S, but only the other day a friend recounted how Amazon insists her perfectly valid address doesn’t exist. Whenever you’re invited to someone’s house, you get given directions rather than an address — turn left at the bins, it’s the third house on the right with blue shutters and some chickens in the garden.
Lots of actual addresses include the words “lieu dit”, which roughly translate as “the place called” and invariably covers a multitude of dwellings. I have on more than one occasion ended up in the wrong driveway to the slight annoyance of the person who lives there and their dog. And I dread directions that include the phrase “You can’t miss it”. You’re wrong. I can. And no, I don’t have a sat nav. I fear, if I did, I would spend most of my time arguing with it.
But back to Carol. During her next visit, she’s going to give a talk at the English Bookshop in St Antonin Noble Val, which is pretty easy to find. I helped set up the event and have produced some posters to advertise it. A couple of days ago, I met some friends for coffee and one of them handed me a copy of my poster saying she thought I might enjoy going along. I’ll be there.