While I try and get my head around the new Google News layout and the loss of various sort options, let me explain the lack of photographs from Monday’s Summer Party on the river terrace at Somerset House.
The annual PenguinRandomHouse party is always a fabulous gathering but it invariably falls in June, a month I have a love-hate relationship with, as I am a hay fever sufferer. Pollen seems to be particularly virulent this year, and I am always badly affected when in London. My eyes were just too itchy and weepy for photography. I kept my shades on for as long as evening light allowed.
I had a great time, even though it turns out I was also hatching a tooth infection.
First up I spoke with 29 yr old Oliver Rodney, strategist for Amazon.
Then with Felix, grandson of Topsy and Tim creators Jean and Gareth Anderson.
This year Francesca Dow’s speech was big on the word magic. “Welcome to our party of wonder and magic… We have a magic wonder tree and we’d love you to help us decorate it with your favourite words.” She told all the creatives who contribute to the company’s publishing programme that they imparted a “special and important magic, the best kind of magic. That’s what you do, all of you, so well. You offer, in this very best sense, an education.”
I never got near enough to Francesca this year to see what she was wearing. Nor did I get close to the magician who was performing card tricks amongst the crowd.
The terrace was so packed it was a case of bumping serendipitously in to lots of familiar faces, including Laurence Anholt and Nigel Hinton, excited about his new novel The Norris Girls with indie Welsh publisher Candy Jar.
Best of all was meeting, towards the end of the evening, Natalia and Lauren O’Hara, whose picture book Hortense and the Shadow is sure to be one of the autumn highlights, as it provided me with another opportunity to tell them face to face how much I enjoyed their presentation at a recent preview event.
My evening ended in a long chat with the guy behind the games, films and entertainment reviews site kidzcoolit.com