Thursday, 30 May 2013

Why I love Ken Livingstone (and the People's Book Prize)


Listen, Boris, I don’t want a bike. I want to be able to get from Lancaster Gate to St.Paul’s by underground, which is only 7 stops, without having to take out a mortgage on the house. What’s happened to tube fares? Time was, I could spend the day skipping round London on the tube and still have change from two farthings. Or at least still have change from a couple of £50 notes. Bring back Red Ken.
Oh, and the People’s Book Prize Do was fun in a slightly hysterical way. A sort of convergence under a lot of gilding, in which only the waiters seemed to be quite sure what they were doing.  My considered thoughts on it? Well, the goat’s cheese went surprisingly well with the smoked salmon – didn’t overwhelm it as I had feared, and the confit of duck with fig was excellent although I thought the dauphinoise potatoes a little too rich as an accompaniment. One spoonful of delicately wilted spinach does not add up to 5 a day, but overall, very good.

Oh yes, and there were some prizes. Which I did not win, although I was one of the three finalists for the Beryl Bainbridge award for first book, so I got to stand on stage and pretend not to feel an idiot.
And I got to race Frederick Forsyth for the toilets at the end. Not many people can say that.

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