Me and the kids bicycling along the canal to Camden
This Saturday, we we were invited to Proud in Camden for their new weekend kids lunch. My husband persuaded us all to bicycle rather than drive the car and at first I was reluctant. It seemed like a long way - it was a long way. We set off down the Uxbridge Road in Sheperds Bush, and then hit the canal, which is perfect to bicycle down with children. It wasn't all plain sailing, there were roads to cross, and hills to climb, but it was the best fun I've had for a long time. It took us an hour and a half to get to Camden(mostly along the canal) but it was worth it. At one point we passed the Zoo, and saw birds in the aviary and some wolves prowling along in their enclosure. I felt happy and free as though we were in the country.
Belle being made up and entertained by Lucky
I don't think I've ever been to Camden Market before, despite living in London all my life, and wow it's busy. More LA than London, but without the good weather. We found the old Horse Hospital and then the Proud. It's a music venue, bar and restaurant. On Friday evening they have burlesque, which is apparently really fun. The old stables are now separate lounge areas, where men were watching sky sport. At the other end is 'the Kitchen," a laid back dining space. We chose from a reasonably priced small lunch menu - £4 for a kids main course. My children loved it. They loved the food, the vibe, the entertainer, a plucky girl called Lucky, who kept my daughter amused. My son enjoyed the swing that hung from the ceiling and the sport that was on in another room. Huge Success.
I want to warn people off a "designer clothes' shop in Bath called The Square, which sells absurdly expensive clothes. It's run by a really really difficult, and dishonest woman and her equally dysfunctional business partner. I did a reading there last December and sold 20 books through her till and for four months she used every excuse not to pay me for them, even though she knew I had to pay Penguin. I had paid £60 to get there and the books would have only covered my expenses. Finally after threatening legal action she sent a cheque, but only for 16 and backdated the cheque so as to make out she had never received the letter. This was after months of wrangling and her making up different stories and her business partner hanging up four times on my husband. She at one point sent a cheque written in the wrong name and for the wrong amount. At one point she said I had to pay her for using the till, even though she had never warned me.
Breathe in, breath out, breath in, breath out. I have to keep reminding myself to do this as my heart is palpitating and there is tightness in my chest. I can't sleep, can hardly eat, and am generally fraught. My third novel, Seven Days One Summeris coming out on the 7th July. There is part of me that wants to hide, right now, in a hotel bedroom. I would lock the door, lie on the bed, and spend the day reading, writing and meditating. I have always been an incompetent sleeper, someone who can't sleep during a full moon, or after too much caffeine and so when my friend Rebecca told me aboutAcem Meditation a couple of years ago, I went along for a weekend course. Acem has been developed in Scandinavia over the last thirty years. It is claimed that if you practice this form of meditation you will be more relaxed and have increased energy and that your immune system will be strengthened. Acem is non religious and non profit making which appealed to me and the course was inex…
I have been a novelist and journalist all my working life, with some success –columns in The Times, Tatler and Easy Living, and three novels published – but with my children now at secondary school and more time to spare, I need another hook to add to my monthly earnings. During the last few years I have grown my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook platforms and idly thought about managing platforms for others.
I offered my services to a local gift shop who were not going far on Instagram, but soon realised I had no clue how do manage platforms professionally. I kept hearing about Digital Mums, (they are very good at getting themselves in front of their target audience) and finally made the decision to bombard a kind woman in admissions with loads of questions. I chose the programme partner course, which is open to people with a background in journalism or marketing, because I was drawn to the challenge of being set to work with a client straight away.