I took a half-day yesterday, sadly it wasn't required and I ended up leaving an hour late at 6.00pm. the occasion was that Robert Topping was taking me out to lunch, and anyone who knows him will tell you that it is a wise man who takes a half-day after a lunch with Robert.
Anyway, to no great surprise, I was stood up. I didn't mind as Robert is busy setting up his much anticipated new store in Bath. It's quite fun to be involved in all this, if only very tangentially- losing a member of staff to the new shop, losing my hoped for replacement for said member of staff to said bookshop and going to lunch with the most talked about bookseller of the moment- even at this distance I feel some of the excitement and a small tinge of envy.
except that today I got to cycle in through the parks in the sunshine- stopping at the lake and looking at the sedge (apparently) of herons opposite the Barbara Hepworth at Battersea Park (this is my current favourite view in London, they're nesting and I will never tire of looking at herons standing up on the top of tall trees). I arrive at work where 150 signed copies of 'On Chesil Beach' need to be put in the window after Ian McEwans visit yesterday- 'speed date' two reps who, for quite acceptable reasons, needed to be out of here asap- order the copies of 'Rites of Peace: the Fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna' (probably the history book I am most looking forward to this year) for when we sell it at the launch party- get the 'kit bags' ready for selling Marina Lewycka's new novel 'Two Caravans' tomorrow night- get given a proof of Armistead Maupin's 'Michael Tolliver Lives' which I'm extremely happy about and just as I come in from lunch I even get to tell a famous TV critic that I thought he had been a bit hard on Shaun the Sheep. Phew, and I've still got 3 hours of my shift left.
Excitement, they don't know the meaning of the word.