Bill Granger is coming to Kingston tomorrow and I am not going to see him. He’s coming as part of the Kingston’s Readers Festival and I’d been umming and ahhing about whether to buy a ticket for ages and was being overwhelmed by an attack of stingeness as I’m doing fairly well at my new regime of not spending money unless it’s for something useful (so for example magazines like Living Etc., which is a glorified magazine long advert for getting you to buy stuff is out, magazines like Sew Hip are in because they’re useful because you can make stuff and save money). And I wasn’t sure whether spending £8 to see Bill Granger, much as he’s a food hero of mine, counts as ‘useful’, specially as it’s a talk on his new book Feed Me Now i.e. it’ll be a talk from Bill Granger subtly trying to get people to buy his new book Feed Me Now and I already have it, so it was rankling me having to pay £8 for the pleasure of having someone trying to sell me something I already have, even if it’s Bill Granger. Plus I’m not as keen on Feed Me Now as I am some of his earlier books which feel more Australian and I buy Bill Granger because I want sunshine in the bucket loads. I actually read recently in a magazine review of Feed Me Now, the reviewer saying something along the lines of ‘Bill Granger’s books a bit too bright and cheerful for you? Don’t worry this one isn’t, all the photos were taken in Britain,’ and I don’t think the reviewer was being sarcastic (ok maybe I’m paraphrasing a bit sarcastically). So it’s a good thing when I just folded a minute ago and thought “Darn it, I want to go and see Bill Granger tomorrow,” that I checked the website and the tickets have sold out, which is a good thing because maybe I could have got all bolshie and stood up and heckled “Next time Bill, do your food photography back in Australia,”.
Anyway, in the five years that I’ve lived in Kingston, this will be, to my knowledge, the second time Bill Granger has visited Kingston. He came to do signings of his book Everyday a few years back, now that time I was desperate to see him, I remember there was an almost postage size stamp notice next to his earlier books in the cookery section of Waterstone’s saying he was coming to do a signing but I don’t think the date or time was that clear. So I kept coming back (like I needed an excuse) until I was certain what the date was, then I was bugging the staff for the exact time, so I came back on that time or date, no Bill Granger, I bugged the staff a little bit more “Where’s Bill Granger?” I go, “Oh he’ll be here in half an hour or so,” goes the book shop staff member who by now probably thinks I’m Bill Granger’s one and only stalker. So I leave the book shop for exactly half an hour, I come back “Oh he’s gone,” goes the book shop person, leaving a trail of signed books behind him. So I brought my signed copy of Everyday that day but I never saw him. But, as I say Bill Granger’s been to Kingston now, twice in five years, he must like the place, so he’ll be back again, surely . . . ?