Just one of those phases – we all have them – in which whatever murky corner of one’s life one peers into, one finds a small crisis brewing (or pouring through the ceiling, refusing to start, falling down, not turning up or having a face on).
Nothing life-threatening, not the sort of catastrophes (unfortunately) where one is so overtaken by the trauma of it all that one can’t eat.
More the kind where one has an over-whelming urge to self-medicate with wine and crisps and then spends too long in the pub.
Not the best possible preparation for an evening in which one is to stand abreast of a famous ballerina.
The beautiful and enviably slender Darcey Bussell CBE was the star celebrity at this year’s RoNAs – Romantic Novel of the Year Awards.
I was wielding the microphone and reading out the shortlists. Darcey was doing the envelopes and “the winner is” bit. She was gorgeous, funny and fabulous.
The whole evening was fabulous. The champagne flowed, the room was bathed in love, romance, and hysterics at Helen Fielding (awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award for bringing the world Bridget Jones) and heartfelt appreciation of the general amazing fabulousness.
Post-prizes – Veronica Henry won overall – I drifted about in my floaty, floor-length sequinned frock, feeling that light joy you get from too many anti-histamine tablets (how else to get through without blowing my nose? I had a cold brewing) mixed with pink fizz, congratulating myself on only mispronouncing the one name this year (sorry Ali McNamara!) and generally feeling the smug glow of a job well done (particularly as I’d managed to trip over the floaty sequins on the way in and drop my notes, thus spending most of the proceedings largely unaware of the running order).
Then I saw the photos. “Oh My God,” I wailed to my agent, The Fearsome One, who took me out to lunch the next day to demand to know why I still hadn’t written the novel I promised two years ago. “Why didn’t I do the exercises on my arms?”
This was her cue to tell me my arms were fine and did not in fact stand out in the pictures like two white slugs in the face of Darcey B’s poise and elegance.
TFO glared. “Well it all takes time, doesn’t it,” she said. “Do we know how sales of the Flab book are going?” My recent work – a meticulously researched tome on weight control with chocolate – contains an entire section on the value of the well-toned tricep.
It also extols the virtues of a well-judged fake tan. I hadn’t remembered to get one of those done either.
I attempted to lighten the mood by listing various people whose sad demise had come before their time. Clarissa Dickson Wright, the last of the two fat ladies, believed that the rise in prozac prescriptions was in direct proportions to the reduction in the consumption of animal fat, I told my companion. “Exactly,” said TFO sternly. “Carpe Diem! Live each day to the full,” she added, by way of translation “Why haven’t you written that novel?”
JANE will be presenting the Love, Life and Laughter charity show (probably wearing long sleeves) tomorrow night (Saturday, March 22) at 7.30pm at the Sarah Thorne Memorial Theatre, Broadstairs, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Tickets £10 from the box office on 0845 2626263.
Read the original article at: http://www.thanetgazette.co.uk/Plain-Jane-don-t-like-complain/story-20832826-detail/story.html