The sun is shining. The works on our road are nearly finished. The ominous looking spots which appeared on our daughter’s torso last night have faded. The paediatrician said it was probably just “un petit virus” and she is fine. All is rosy.
Sister-in-law, the publishing executive, came to stay for Easter. She is godmother to the Princess and came specially for her birthday, we were suitably pleased. I find the publishing exec fascinating. She always comes bearing manuscripts. Yes, things that are going to be books. Fancy! And you get to see her name in the acknowledgements. And she gets to go to book launch parties and (when pressed by me to say whether she’s seen anyone glam) she says things like “Zadie Smith came too, apparently she left Alain de Botton’s “Status Anxiety” party early to be there” or “I saw Salman Rushdie and Martin Amis chatting and there’s something you don’t see often”. Yes, for a whole range of reasons. It’s all very thrilling. Though I’m sure she really enjoyed staying in with us on Saturday night and re-watching “Bridget Jones’s Diary” on VT4. I like to think that she regards her trips to Belgium as a sort of rest cure.
Publishing is a different world. One of the editors in their publishing house left and took an author with her. Why? Well no one else at our house really loved him. I mean, when accountants leave firms and they take clients with them, is it because no one else in the firm really loved big biz inc.? Really, isn’t working in publishing fantastic? You get paid to love your authors and sit around all day reading their books. In the evening you go to glittering literary events. You get copies of books free with the words “uncorrected bound proof – not for sale or quotation” on the front. What could be better than that?
I must say, however, that the pub. exec., is very devoted to her job and dutifully loves all her publishing house’s authors (well, almost all, they publish some authors even a mother couldn’t love). It was for this reason that, on Sunday evening, we drove to a remote and unusually unattractive Flemish hamlet which features in one of their books. It was, I concede, only slightly out of our way. And, though it was ghastly, she was charmed. Very endearing. Some day that girl will make a wonderful editor: she loves her authors.