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helen ward dinner

Last night I had a real treat, a dinner in Kew Gardens hosted by Templar Publishing for the launch of Helen Ward's latest book, 'Wonderful Life'. I was slightly nervous because I didn't know anyone, but Helen's publicist, Philippa Perry, was incredibly down-to-earth and kind, as was Helen's sister, Fran, who explored the walled-in part of the garden with me.



Their whole family is artistic, their brother was there and teaches Foundation at the Royal College of Arts. Sara Fanelli sat near me, and I embarrassingly didn't recognise her for half the dinner, just thinking she looked vaguely familiar and maybe I'd run into her at Magma or something. I even went to a lecture she gave once at the RCA, but she was so far away and in such a blinding spotlight that I never really figured out what she looked like! Anyway, it was really nice to see her again, and she said she was planning to give a talk at Camberwell this year. Maybe I can sneak in and listen.

I wrote a review of the event for WriteAway and I was also supposed to take a photo, but the champagne was too nice and I totally forgot about my camera ...oh no! So I made this drawing, hoping it will be an okay substitute. Have a look at Helen's book if you get the chance. She's used her in-depth flora and fauna knowledge but isn't bound by it; everything's set on an alien planet, so she can do what she likes! It's really lovely.

Random Radio 4 snippet just overheard: 'How does one dress in a modern Welsh restaurant?' (I have no idea.)