Months ago, I got a lovely message from the people at Mumsnet, who occasionally and very generously feature me on their site despite my anarchist leanings. They asked me if I would like to be a speaker at this year’s Mumsnet Blogfest.
I said yes.
I was asked last year and I just wasn’t brave enough. I felt like a fraud. This year, that day, I didn’t.
So, I said yes and didn’t really think about it again. I had a lot of life going on and November seemed a long way off, and then all of a sudden it’s nearly November, and Mumsnet have started tweeting about it, and lo and behold, my moon faced, grainy picture is on the website along with real people with nice hair and convictions, people like Sandi Toksvig, and Bridget Christie and Meera Syal and Margaret Atwood.
Margaret Fucking Atwood!
And I’m speaking on a panel with Esther Freud, and I’ve read all her books, and she does stuff with words and she puts them together and they’re all sparkly and shit and I’ve read her books, and I love them, and her books are you know, booky, and OH MY GOOD GOD…
And since yesterday I’ve been rather squeaky about it all, and in a place of tremendous panic. This has resulted in me telling everyone, and everyone being lovely, and me telling everyone again until they just want to stab me with a hat pin to get me to shut the fuck up, but they’re too nice to do that so I tell them again and…
*sweats self into small puddle of panic and slithers about*
And I’m going to be on a panel to talk about brevity in writing, which I find hilarious, because I’m the least brief person I know, particularly when I’m nervous, and I may well hi jack the stage and just treat (I use this word cautiously) everyone to a forty minute monologue of my hysteria filled gibbering.
Unless I just vomit with nerves and fall off the stage into Sandi Toksvig’s hand bag.
Or never make it to the stage because I’m too busy being arrested for being Margaret Atwood’s stalker, and the police are carrying me out while I wail: ‘I was only trying to touch the hem of her gooooooooowwnnnn.’
And Mumsnet will have to bail me out with the tea money.
*flushes to the roots of hair with anticipated shame*
Any/All of these things are possible.
Also, the sweating. My hands, which my mother says are usually like cold cod, will be nuclear all day, and I will have to shake hands with people and I will melt them with my radioactive Spidey sweat hands, and I may have to hug everyone in the European way to avoid this, even though I come from a small town in the East Midlands and fear intimacy with strangers.
As all this goes through my mind I think, no wonder we pay the Queen all that money. She has to do this shit every day.
So today, to make myself feel braver, I went into town to buy myself a new dress/suit of armour for the event.
I came home with a candle that smells of libraries.
I shall light the candle and wear it as a fascinator on the day. I shall smell tremendously knowledgeable and people will be too frightened by my overpoweringly intellectual aroma, and certainly by my nakedness that I shall be victorious, regardless of everything else.
It’s a plan.
If you want to see this, or not see this at all (which I advise as your best option) but just go and see Margaret, and Bridget, and Meera, and Esther and heaps of other fabulous people, you can get tickets through the website here.
It’s on November 21st, which will be known for all time hereafter as National Naked Smell Like A Library Day in my honour.
Or: The Day That Woman Slid Off Stage In A Tsunami of Trauma Induced Vomit.
Whichever happens first.