Well – that was some party! You can judge from the empties above. Celebrating a significant and pensionable birthday here at Tooting Towers last weekend. Highlight of the evening for me was one guest bellowing in my ear (to make himself heard) that he hadn’t been to a party like this since the sixties, while another was texting a friend to establish where the hell in the throng elsewhere in the house she might be. Last guest finally left at 3pm the following afternoon.
“Oh, you booksellers”, I can hear you all say – don’t have proper jobs, don’t live in the real world, don’t know what day it is, will travel anywhere for a free drink. But, truth to tell, the turnout from the book-trade was a little on the thin side – and those booksellers that there were left fairly abstemiously before the real fun started. Some pretty lame excuses for absence on that front – but no need for a post-mortem.
The place was packed with old friends from schooldays and college days (both mine and Anne’s) , old cricketing chums, the wider and wilder elements of the family, and – oddly, bizarrely, but very happily – with lots of young people, charming young men and beautiful young women. “How lucky are we?”, murmured another old roué at one point.
Birthday cards were a little predictable and occasionally acid (sample shown – click to enlarge), although I was charmed by the Senior Moment Mints. Presents likewise – all booze, books and biscuits – perhaps people know me better than I’m entirely comfortable with. That’s all for now – tied up teaching at London Rare Books School this week and next – lectures to prepare, books to dig out to fox the students as interesting case-studies – here’s a picture of me giving a seminar on large-scale English county maps at the British Library yesterday. Guess the county? Guess the date?
Thank you so much to all who came to the party – a wonderful night.