So last night, in my jetlagged hours, I wrote a very funny blog about the first day of my US book tour. Unfortunately I only wrote it in my head and I can’t remember any of it. So you’ll have to make do with this one.
I am in New York, en route to Atlanta. If I say I’m on page six of my schedule, and it’s day two, you get the picture of how fast things move here. In fact my schedule is so packed that I tend to look at it one day at a time to avoid the risk of hyperventilation. This, it turns out, was my initial mistake. Because if I had researched anything beyond the words: FLY TO NEW YORK I would have seen that Wednesday’s entries contained the words: ‘video recording, do not wear black, or patterned clothing’. I might also have known that Manhattan was experiencing temperatures of almost 100 degrees.
I am English. My wardrobe is black, sludge-coloured and made of wool or materials so thick that putting them on is basically like pulling myself into a tailored inner tube. Which means that pretty much all the outfits I packed guaranteed that within half an hour of leaving my midtown hotel I would resemble one of those melting paintings by Salvador Dali.
Given that it is New York Fashion Week, I briefly considered wearing my nightie, and just styling it out – Why, this old thing? I think it was from Victoria Beckham’s last collection – but given that I had spent all night tossing and turning in it while compiling The Genius Blog I Can’t Remember, I thought it might be a little unsavoury.
So weeding out the patterns and the black, I was left with my tight green dress. The dress that allows you to eat one hazelnut and maybe a blueberry before you bulge outwards against its lines like jelly in a string bag. Turns out it is actually quite good exercise to hold your stomach muscles in for an entire day of interviews. Turns out it is even better to find a branch of Anthropologie, dive in, and buy three loose, lightweight items of clothing within the 10 minutes of free time on your schedule and resolve never to look at your credit card statement ever again.
The happy upshot of this was that last night I gave a talk at Greenwich Library Connecticut to a lovely, engaged audience of – gulp – 250 (quite glad I hadn’t looked up that one, either), wearing a dress that was so fresh and fragrant that my publicist had to cut the price tag off on the way.
In Atlanta it is apparently even hotter than New York. As soon as I get to my hotel I am going to wash that nightie. Just in case.