The last fortnight has been a bit of a blur due to the lovely Winchester writers' conference and my friends trying to cram every social event of the summer into the same two weeks. All great fun but I could have done with a few days between each of them! Winchester was wonderful and terrifying in equal proportions. The pitch and publication course was really useful, but had its scary moments. We had to split into pairs and pitch to our partner as if they were an agent, then swap. Deep breath, not too bad, then 2 chairs were placed in the middle of the room... It's amazing how quickly you descend into incoherent babble when 20 pairs of eyes are fixed on you as you attempt to pitch to your "agent".
My real agent appointments the next day seemed slightly less worrying in comparison until I discovered the bear pit of a venue for the meetings. They're held in a large room with tiny exam style tables set up in pairs. You sit next to another desperate delegate and try to hold a sensible conversation with the agent opposite. It's incredibly loud, and very hard not to listen to the person next to you who is losing it slightly. I did get lots of useful feedback and one of them said I could send it to him again once I'd made the suggested changes. I went home happy.
The wedding I was at yesterday was held in the most glamorous venue I've ever encountered. St Audries Park in Somerset resembles a stately home, but only hosts weddings. You get the entire place for the day, and it's vast grounds. Weddings are held in the Orangerie, dancing in the great hall and then there are the endless lounges and bedrooms of epic proportions. I think the sinks and powder room of the ladies covered about the same area as my house. It was lovely to float around the place as armies of staff got you drinks and brought out endless trays of food...
And then there was Doctor Who, sniff.