There were about 50 of us in total. Friends, family, friends of family, fellow poets, partners, older children, local writers and one of my lovely students all came along to the Valentines Mansion on Sunday to help me celebrate the launch of 'Centuries of Skin' as part of the Redbridge Book and Media Festival 2010.
I was very lucky to have my launch in the Drawing Room of the 17th century Valentines Mansion in Gantshill. It was a beautiful venue, with its trailing vine wallpaper, Juliet balcony, and Queen Anne perspex chairs.
I wore my tried and tested grey dress, and read from 'Centuries of Skin' for twenty minutes. Then I enjoyed all the poems from the special guest readers.
It didn't rain, the cava and apple juice flowed, and although the event itself finished at 6.45, many of us stayed on till 8.
Thank you to everyone who came along, and special thanks to Chris, to Pat Livingstone who provided the wonderful music inspired by the island of Iona, to photographer Jen who is now going through dozens of photos, to Bob Mee from Ragged Raven Press for his introduction, poem and book table, to my special guest readers Christopher James, Shanta Everington, Adrian Green, Tim Cunningham, Ken Champion, Juli Jeana, and Anne Welsh, and to Shermain at Redbridge Council who worked so hard and was a great host.
My cousin Anne called it 'glorious'. Yes, I think it was.