Friday, 31 May 2013


Being a writer isn't all writing. It's answering the e-mails and checking the proofs, and doing bookshop events. And all the ordinary stuff, like the hoovering and the washing and the forgetting to get any bread and having to stop at the Co-op on the way home.

Yesterday I was doing really well. I got everything done that needed doing, pushed a load of washing into the machine, and went out with Tony to a bookshop event. We were in the lovely market town of Skipton in North Yorkshire at Judith Wigley's excellent shop, Cornerstone. I read stories to brilliant children and signed books, then over coffee and cake Judith and I discussed the world of publishing, storytelling, and working with kids. What a great way to spend an afternoon. Then we came home over the moors (stopping at the Co-op to buy the bread, see above), and unloaded the washing machine.

Guess what fell out of it?

My memory stick.

The word 'oops' reverberated through the universe. Wherever you were, you felt the tremor.

Yes, I know, you should always check trouser pockets before you put them in the wash. But that's supposed to apply to other people's trouser pockets, not mine, because I would never be so silly as to leave anything in my pockets when putting clothes in the...

...anyway, I dried it off and left it on the table overnight to recover. In the morning we fed it to the computer and waited to see what came up.

Everything came up! Every file is intact. I haven't lost a single word!

The manufacturers of these things should put laundry labels on them - 'Machine washable at 40 degrees. Do not iron'.

(NB The tumble dryer might not be a good idea, either.)

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