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Heffer's Bookshop, Cambridge, May 23rd
Thanks to a kind invitation from Kate Fleet, Events Manager at the bookshop, I had the honour and pleasure of speaking about 'Portland Place' in the area where I had lived and worked for over thirty years.
I was very fortunate to be interviewed by Torin Douglas, the former BBC Media Correspondent and an expert in keeping wayward interviewees on track.
Photographs taken in 1971 gave a flavour of the times, and I spoke in some detail about my experiences working for the Corporation in the School Broadcasting Council, schools' radio and television drama.
Of course there was an opportunity to discuss with the audience the extraordinary relationship that developed between myself and the liftman, Frank Browne. I hope that the various readings from "Portland Place" gave a glimpse of the humour and affection in that affair which differentiates it so clearly from the recently publicised behaviour of some celebrities.
Then it was time for questions! I can't remember them all but a couple were: "Do you have a favourite memory from the diary?" and "Did you leave anything out when you edited it for publication?"
Then it was time to sign some copies and answer private questions.
A great evening. Many thanks to Torin and to Kate and her excellent team.
Wimborne Literary Festival 18th May
Not nervous, am I? Not at all - but here I am checking the slides before my first ever talk at a Literary Festival!
If you are ever in Wimborne Minster, pop into Gulliver's Bookshop. It's a super bookshop and they do a fantastic job putting together an annual LitFest. I was very excited to be asked to speak there. Several weeks of planning and publicity later and I was well prepared. I very much enjoyed talking about "Portland Place" to the 30+ audience.
At the book signing session afterwards, I was interested to share memories with other ladies of around my age who had also worked as secretaries in the 1960s and 70s. Ah, the days of carbon copies and Pitman's shorthand!
The paperback edition will be published under the title "Secret diary of a 1970's secretary" in November 2017.
Oakhill's audio version, read by Anna Bentinck, can be borrowed from UK public libraries. It will be available as a download from Audible also in November.