Thanks to the generosity of friends, family and Atlantic Books, I managed to have not one or two but three launches for If Wishes Were Horses in London (especial thanks to Rowan Pelling, whose fault all this is anyway), Norwich (at the beautifully curated Bookhive, where my guests not only cleaned out the stock of IWWH but were also unable to resist buying even more books) and Berlin. The latter took place last night, thanks to my friend Suzy Fracassa who insisted on hosting at her party space, Feast, in Neukölln. The occasion was definitely by popular demand, and I wanted to do something for all the Berliners who helped bring the book into existence, whether by making recommendations or simply listening as I gabbed on about whatever my current obsession was – after a long day in the library the best way to process the information is to turn it into a spiel for an audience of one.
Everyone outdid themselves. Suzy served mint juleps and the most deliciously garlicky tsatziki in the annals of gastronomy. I baked all day and made carrot cake, spiced apple cake, cheese straws, devils on horseback and ginger (as in Black Beauty) biscuits. At about 9pm I heard the clip-clopping of hooves and my pony-girl lizard brain reacted as follows: “There’s a horse outside! Run to the window! Where’s the nearest stable? Alt Rixdorf! Yes! It’s possible!” I promise I wasn’t disappointed when it turned out to be John and Aimee with two sets of coconuts. We had another mystery guest:
I also made others read extracts from the book before giving in and reading a little myself – Jen Porto’s determination to read all the rudest bits was much appreciated, Sarah Everts managed to find the best bit about armpits and Tanya Ott reminded me how much I love the Pferdberg all over again. Novak the whippet and Czarna the Latvian Squirrel Botherer kept everyone entertained and I think at least thirty people have now volunteered to dog-sit. Thank you to everyone and much love. As you can probably tell by the length of my subclauses, I need to go swim off those mint juleps…