Now there’s a sentence I never thought I would see in print – and it feels good! In fact, with that one sentence a whole bunch of “nevers” bite the dust: I’d never before put in an Expression of Interest for anything – ever. I’ve never been to a literary festival in New Zealand, never been a delegate at one anywhere in the world for that matter and, cherry on the top – I’ve never been to Auckland either.
Of course I’m euphoric. I’m the library assistant with the spring in her step and a great big smile on her mug. That said, I am also the library assistant waking up at 2am with sweaty palms and the words “podcast” and “blog” beating a merciless tattoo behind her terrified eyes.
After umpteen e-mails and phone calls to Richard on the subject of the festival, he has no idea how calmed I have been by his soothing tones and philosophical take on matters technological when he said: “Here’s the thing Roberta, it either works or it doesn’t work.”
All round the network colleagues have shared in my delight at this terrific opportunity. OK, so some of them have initially been unable to hide an unflattering degree of surprise but when they rally, their questions are spot on: “What!” followed by “Where? When? Which hotel” and my personal all-time favourite which really gets to the heart of the matter: “What will you wear?”
So far no-one has asked who the festival guests will be, but I bet that’s because they know I am going to tell them anyway.
What this means is that I have been given the chance to rediscover the joy of focused reading. Of course I read for pleasure all the time, but to resurrect the thrill of reading with a purpose is a special privilege.
Next to my comfy chair, on my round table with a specially angled reading lamp, there now stands a gently leaning stack of books I must read and be able to comment on with some degree of insight by the 12th May – and I am in my element. The pile includes Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed, Lionel Shriver’s So Much For That and William Dalrymple’s Nine Lives.
And yes, I have bought new stationery for those of you who must know. Really, it doesn’t get better than this!