Well, I said it would be interesting. I said it would be a challenge. I said I was technically impaired. As usual, I was right.
Oldest boy’s first day at college. Back to square one with the morning routine. Are you going to dress? Are you really going to wear that? Are you going to shave? Are you going to do your hair? But we got there in the end. I shed a little tear as I watched him go and made my way back home for the marketing lady’s visit. I had been up since 4 thinking about it (and everything else). My most pressing thought – how I would need to clean my windows as she wanted to take photos for the press release (both prospects filling me equally with dread and fear). Somewhere with a lot of light, she’d said. Sparkly shiny the windows looked as I walked away, immensely proud with my efforts and impressed that the streak-free promise guaranteed on the bottle was indeed true (until I reached the door only to turn back and see my windows looked like they had been fending off a Saharan sandstorm).
Still, I shrugged it off. Marketing lady arrived. Very nice she was too. We got on like a house on fire and she immediately put me at ease. And what she had done for me, she had done off her own back. How selfless! How lovely! She was so lovely, in fact, my fears about getting online and making myself ‘present’ were instantly dispelled – there was no way this book was going to sell itself. I needed to get out there. I needed to be seen. She told me about Twitter etiquette: if I follow someone, they should follow me in return. Easy, right? She then gave me loads of really nice Twitter people who might indeed follow me – foster carers, people who specialize in the rights of children, fostering networks etc. The news about my book was sure to spread – slowly but surely.
I then began stalking, I mean, following people. I thought, This is easy! This is ace! Who else can I follow? I kept going and going – from Prince fans to Busy Foster Mams. Suddenly, I realised I hadn’t dried the white washing from earlier. I ran to the machine and pulled out said washing only to feel it was rather dry as I rubbed it against my chin to check. But it smelt lovely at least…then my chin detected a few damp patches so it must have been washed. I began loading the tumble drier only to see the cause of the dampness was the detergent itself which had spilled on a few spots of material but mostly on the floor. I removed the laundry from the drier, added a fresh measure of washing detergent and pressed the ‘on’ button this time. I did tut when I noticed half the load was still in the drier. Oh, well!
I began searching Twitter again. And as my chin began to burn, I received a call from my oldest, asking where I was. “At home!” I said, as I began dabbing my chin with a cool flannel. “Why?” Because college finished at 12 – not 12.30 as I was 100% sure it did. “Ripide! Rapide!” I shouted to my French-speaking youngest as we ran out the door. “Je suis en retarde!” I am never late. I despise being late. I will not be late again, I promised the tutor.
To make up for my hasty panic (which my youngest found somewhat contagious) and to make up for leaving my eldest waiting for 15 whole minutes on his first day, I suggested taking them both for lovely lunch only to discover, there are just some things which Google Translate, no matter how wonderful, cannot…translate, “Let’s go eat at the Brown Cow,” being one of them. More panic. “I mean…le dejeuner! Le dejeuner!”
Crisis over, I told myself. Some nice quality time with the boys, I told myself, a smile from ear to ear as we made our way into the country retreat. But it wasn’t fresh country air I could detect. It was the pungent artificialness of detergent. Why still so strong after I’d washed my face several times, my chin now glowing? Instinctively, I looked down only to spot said detergent from had ran down the full length of my jumper and the right leg of my jeans too. A funny sort of colour, it was. Unfortunately, not the hideable sort. My bag hiding my jumper, I slithered towards a table, trailing me right leg behind me. I have no idea why. Perhaps I was trying to hide it behind my left one.
Lunch, thankfully went without incident and we headed back home. The nice marketing lady told me to add a picture to my Author Central page. Get seen. She’d taken a few on her phone (cringe) and emailed them to me, but BT email is ‘having technical issues’ today. I will keep trying again later. In the meantime, I began to practise that thing they call – The Selfie. Every angle and light I explored, none of them particularly flattering. But finally, I managed to get one which didn’t demonstrate all too clearly that Slimming World has been a bit of a push on top of everything else of late. There were some crackers before that though, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of Chandler from Friends getting his photos taken to announce his engagement. If only I had a Joey stand in to do mine. When the hubby arrived home, we laughed at the awkward burst of frames. The one I chose includes a self-assured head slant – I know what I am doing. I am brave. I am an author. I am not shaking so much, the lens looks misty (but no filters used here, thank you very much…because I don’t have Instagram and I don’t know how). After pretending to laugh along with him as he mockingly mimicked my favourite chosen image like he was entering a gurning competition, I checked Twitter. And there was a tweet…for me! ‘Thanks for the add. x.’ I read it a few more times just to be sure – and it was only from esteemed and critically acclaimed author Cathy Glass! CATHY GLASS had thanked me for the add! How humble is she? Surely it should be the other way around? My heart pounding in me ears, my response was immediate. “Thank you, Cathy! My first follower! x.” I added a kiss because she had done. Cathy Glass left a kiss…for me! So proud was I, that I ‘re-tweeted’ it. “Come and see this,” I shouted to my husband only to click home and see that she wasn’t following me at all – she was just thanking me for following her!
We’ve been laughing for the last 10 minutes at how every shred of dignity and self-respect I ever owned have vamooshed in an instant. It is only 4pm. Still another 6 hours for me to make more in my ‘author’ impact on the world. God help you all! I’m a nervous wreck! Take away tonight, me thinks…