There is no way of saying this without blowing my own trumpet, so cover your ears if you don’t like the noise, but ‘Spies, Dad, Big Lauren and Me has been picked for the Richard and Judy Summer Book Club, which is kind of a big thing. Huge, really. Not least because it’s on a list with Joan Aiken’s ‘Arabel’s Raven’, which is the reason I write at all, and Frank Cottrell Boyce’s ‘Cosmic’, which is the reason I wrote about Billy Grimshaw.
And I always hearted Richard and Judy. I hearted them when it was cool to heart them i.e. twenty years ago, when I was supposed to be writing a dissertation on circuses, but instead was lying on the swirly carpet of 408 Beverley Road, eating endless bowls of Rice Krispies and watching their first ever broadcast on a portable black and white. Then I hearted them when it was uncool to heart them, i.e. when I was working in politics, where you are only supposed to listen to Radio 4 and watch Paxo, or at least, that’s all you are allowed to admit to (political geeks don’t even do ‘ironic’). I hearted them when Judy’s boob fell out on prime time telly, and I hearted them when they got moved to the back of beyond where no one would ever see their boobs again.
And it turns out they heart me too. Aw, thanks, guys. You are like the parents I never had. In fact you are quite like the parents I do have. Especially Richard, who I just know would do an embarrassing dad dance across the floor if he ever had to pick me up from Wimbish Village Disco.