Dr Jaegermeister, I presume
A festival of new acquaintances being made and old ones being renewed, most notably in the form of Dr Jaegermeister. Actually, I've no idea if he's a doctor at all, but the name sounds German, and they dish out doctorates over there like we serve up ASBOs in Cardiff, so why not? Our meeting went a bit like this:
JT: Hello Dr Jaegermeister
DJ: Hello excellent thriller writer James Twining. Would you like a scrummy drink from my little green bottle?
JT: That's very kind of you Doctor J. Here's five pounds.
DJ: My pleasure. Here's a hammer to hit yourself on the head with in the morning.
JT: (slurring badly) Damn you Doctor Jaegermeister.
DJ: We will meet again, my young apprentice. Mwa-ha-ha-ha.
I last met Dr Jaegermeister, aged 20, on a university ski trip, when he kindly introduced me to his friend, Herr Groehe, whom porcelain connoisseur's among you might recognise as a close cousin of our very own Mr A. Shanks (of the Norfolk Shanks's, of course.)
I've not been able to touch a drop since, so the "ice bombs" I had on Friday night - jaegermeister + coke :-) - was something of a back to the future moment, although thankfully not accompanied this time by 7 hours curled up on the bathroom floor. Instead, I had to spend most of Saturday in sunglasses and knocking-back painkillers like they were smarties. Actually, they may well have been smarties - I was finding it hard to focus.
This of course gave me the perfect excuse to take advantage of the sunshine as I tried to piece the evening together. So far it's come to me in flashes: ian rankin's glass tankard, agatha christie's mug, cafe rouge, red ribbons, hotel roof, robbery, helium balloons ... fun, fun, fun.
Saturday night was a rather more abstemious affair, starting off with the author "murder mystery" dinner. Amazingly, my table won by guessing that Martin Waites had killed Mark Billingham because his huge success had been built on an idea he had stolen from him when they had been living together as students. I was pleased. The last time I won anything was my third form history competition (which I later learnt I was the only person to enter), so I thought that perhaps my luck was turning. Then I saw the "prize" - the latest Billingham opus. Signed.
Talk about a hollow victory.
Elsewhere, there was unfounded talk that there was a literary festival going on. Kevin Wignall and Steve Mosby sank to new depths of colour coordinated depravity (c.f. exhibit A, on the right). And controversy raged (is still raging)over Kernick's Dan Brown / WHSmith deal. Frankly, I don't see the problem. Actually let me rephrase that - I can't afford to see the problem. I have two deals coming up with Sainsbury's and Borders to co-promote my books alongside DB's - all I can say is well done HC and ker-ching! Frankly, I'd be more worried if I was DB, in case people read Simon's, then his, and then draw the inevitable conclusion ...
Big shout out to the Harper massive (Fiona, Wayne, Sarah, Rachel, Alice, who have I missed ...?) who did their usual excellent job in entertaining us.
Which brings me full circle to renewing old acquaintances, (c.f. awkward link to opening paragraph in a lame attempt to round the post off) and how good it was to see Stav Sherez and his crazy hair and unconstrained nicotine/caffeine addiction again. You've been missed, man
PS - Find me on Twitter - @jamestwining - come on, you know you want to.