Am just back from Essaouira in Morocco. I was desperately in need of a break after the launch of my novel, The Seven Year Itch. There was a party and several articles to write and photographers who came to photograph the children and me. I was so nervous during the party at Daunt Books, my heart was hammering in my chest and I felt spacey and strange. During the launch I beamed and signed books, picked at nuts and probably drank too much. I had bought a gold dress for the occasion and had my hair done and the dress was so tight, that it was quite an effort to sign 70 books. It was all very heart warming and fun. There is another launch at a local café, Cupboard Café in Oaklands Grove, W12, on June 4th. The café is a haven from the souk that is the Uxbridge Road, and the owner, Natalie, the woman who gets things done brilliantly, has started a series of parties for local authors. Please come.
Essaouira is the most beautiful walled town on the coast of Morocco, where the houses are mostly painted blue and white. It is two and a half hours drive from Marrakech. We have been on really safe holidays since the children were born, so it was great to go to a town that looks and smells medieval where the streets are cobbled and narrow and overrun with cats and where the smell is of mint and sardines and the occasional drain. There is a working port also overrun with manky cats, and fishing boats. I am still thinking of colourful souks, sweet mint tea and the beautiful light. The children started school again today, and I have that sinking feeling, too, as though I am back at boarding school, shivering by the cold radiator.