Finding something special…

Today my boyfriend and I decided to head to Brick Lane for an afternoon of general wandering. I wasn’t really in the ‘shopping mood’. I was happy just pootling around, taking in the sights and smells, and wondering how everyone was managing to be so effortlessly cool.

Then Andy and I decided to pop into a place called ‘This Shop Rocks’ on Brick Lane. It sells all sorts of vintage things from plates to hats and candlestick holders. As soon as we walked in I was instantly amazed at all the stuff inside, it was like a treasure trove and certainly lived up to its name.

As I walked round the shop, I pictured serving friends cocktails in vintage milk bottles with weird straws and cooking delicious foodstuffs with some seriously funky pans. You probably know the scenario all too well yourself. You instantly start imagining the things in your home/in your hair/over your shoulders and how bloody amazing they would be.

Anyway, I’d just about managed to control myself (reluctantly slinking away from the milk bottles), until we walked round and saw something A*M*A*Z*I*N*G. And that was it. I FELL IN LOVE. I fell head-over-heels in love in the way that so many people do with inanimate objects on aimless Sunday afternoons. It’s unexpected. It’s magical. Your bank account does not like it but who cares BECAUSE IT’S LOVE.

Straight away I started cooing and sighing, tilting my head to one side and shifting around on my feet excitedly. As I tugged at Andy’s arm crying “ohmygoditsbeautifullookatititsmyfavouritecolourandeverythingohmygodohmygodohmygod”, he stood there, stroking his beard and staring at it. He had his intense thinking face on, complete with furrowed brow, so I knew it was serious. Then after a few moments he turned around and simply said “You have to get it. It’s beautiful. Go on!”

Now, this gorgeous find is related to writing, so you can probably imagine why I lost my mind over it… Can you guess what it is yet? Here’s a hint…

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Got it yet? Good.

Not got it yet? It’s a vintage typewriter.

It’s called a ‘Super G’ and it’s made by Smith Corona in collaboration with Ghia, and I believe it’s modelled on a racing car (complete with racing stripes). It was made in the 1970’s. This means the typewriter is older than me, which I think is really cool.

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Like the geeky things we are, Andy and I rushed home to clean it, polish it and generally tinker with it until it shone like the sun. I did some research and it was also manufactured back in the seventies in orange and brown. It’s beautiful.

One of the loveliest things about this unexpected purchase is wondering what has been written by its previous owner/s… How many letters, words, sentences (or even whole stories) it has aided and how magical that all is. It looks like it has been well loved and well used, and it has known language before I was even born. Now, I love my laptop and wouldn’t be thrilled with the idea of producing a whole manuscript on a typewriter nowadays, but there’s something so cool about the clunky feel to its keys, the clever but so simple mechanical functions it has, the sound of the paper being rolled into place and the TING when you get the end of the page. It’s like being a kid again.

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Me and Super G

Anyway, just thought I would share this with some fellow book lovers, avid readers and writers who might just find it as fascinating as I do.

What a brilliant day!

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Three Little Words launch party and Paris…

*Warning* This will be a long post, packed with pictures and words like ‘amazing’ and ‘lovely’ and ‘exciting’ because I’ve had the best seven days ever!

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This time last week I was feeling REALLY nervous, but super excited about the launch party for the UK eBook of my second novel, Three Little Words. It brought back so many memories of the This is a Love Story launch. I’m glad to say it was another successful evening where I found myself, yet again, blown away by the support and kindness of my family and friends.

The event was held at The Haberdashery in Crouch End, and it’s a great venue that I would recommend to anyone looking to hold a similar party. It’s beautifully decorated, full of fairy lights (huge bonus) and provided the perfect atmosphere to celebrate book two. Food was great as well… There were some copies of the UK export edition for guests to take home on the night.

Launching a book is such a strange mix of emotions……You are delighted but nervous all at the same time. I want to thank everyone who came along on the night and made it such a fantastic evening I will never forget.

The oddest part of it all is that you work so hard to write and perfect a book, and then when it comes out it still seems like a surprise that people are reading it!

I’ve had some lovely reviews and messages about Three Little Words. It’s wonderful to hear from readers, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or by email, and particularly lovely to hear from those who enjoyed This is a Love Story and purchased my second book. Thanks to everyone who has got in touch about it.

As I’ve mentioned previously, Three Little Words will be published in the UK as a paperback in August this year but is available now as an eBook.

After the launch I headed to Paris with my boyfriend Andy for five days. It was wonderful! I went to Paris a few years ago but I couldn’t remember it well, so it was great to come back and really spend some time in such a magical city.

We stayed in the gorgeous Hidden Hotel near the Champs-Élysées, and packed in loads of sightseeing including visiting The Latin Quarter, Opera, Montmartre, The Louvre, The Roue de Paris and even the very top of The Eiffel Tower (I felt like I was going to faint by the way…) When we were at the top of the tower it started to snow, which was an incredible thing to see… you can just about make it out in this photo.

View from the top of the Eiffel Tower in the snow

View from the top of the Eiffel Tower in the snow

While visiting some shops, I was delighted to spot some hand made prints by Zeena Shah, who designed the cover for This is a Love Story. I picked up one of her ‘penelope pin cushions’ (below), desperate to explain the whole story to the shop keeper but held back for fear I may confuse her with my appalling French…

One of Zeena Shah's pin cushions I fell madly in love with a black and white dress (pictured below), which I found in a vintage shop in the Opera area. The detailing on it was stunning, and I just stared at it through the window slipping into a daydream! If I’m not mistaken, I think it was more than fifty years old… That really got me thinking. I thought about the woman/women who have worn it, and the memories it holds. It’s a stunning dress, so I’m glad I managed to get a photo of it to remember what it looks like!

Beautiful vintage dress

Beautiful vintage dress

I forgot how beautiful Paris is, everything about it is elegant and gorgeously presented… We had some lovely meals, and visited a really cool champagne bar that I would recommend called The Flute E’toile. Paris was a much needed break away after a really busy time, and I feel refreshed and raring to go again!

Now work continues on book three…