Poor Catherine Rayner. If one of your most famous characters is an animal which rhymes, then people are going to spout poor poetry at you whenever occasion arises. Occasion did arise, rather marvellously, yesterday, when a giant MDF Ernest the Moose was lovingly illustrated with exceptional skill by Catherine, to the wonder of children and adults alike.
The Moose was yet another seemingly unsolvable puzzle cracked by our phenomenal tech team. Seriously, those boys and girls are good. Not only do they sort out all of the author's technical requests (including one memorable incident with two step ladders, a curtain rail and some sheeting), they also ensure that our toilets don't block, our heating doesn't falter, our tents don't blow away, and our radios, well, keep radio-ing. So mounting a moose to the railings surrounding Prince Albert, and then protecting it from the rain with a bolted-on parasol was nothing, nothing!
As if a Moose wasn't exciting enough, yesterday was also a day of birthdays, and therefore, naturally, of cake and fizz and rounds of applause. Lois and Jennifer looked radiant in their balloon hats (the height of sophistication, let me assure you) and everybody was particularly tickled by the presence of several old staff members, and one especially sweet Icelandic baby.
Today is a day of goodbyes: our luggage shed is overflowing. Our Yurt is full of authors promising to catch up with one another soon ('in London', usually, which fills my little Scottish heart with indignation). We are hailing fleets of taxis to transport out authors northward, southward, and often back over the sea. But it is not not not not not all over yet. For a start, the fat lady has not sung yet. And although there is no fat lady to hand, there will be karaoke at the staff party, and I imagine that will suffice. And we still have a couple of marvellous days ahead of us.
And oh, the memories: for example, Rachel Hazell's blog with its haunting picture of EIBF audience heads (see top of page): http://www.booksineverything.wordpress.com/. Not to mention the Guest Book, with its generous words of thanks. And definitely not to mention my slightly cavalier style of filing, which means that I will probably be disentangling threads of admin for the rest of my youth, and thus will be eternally encumbered by the finer points of travel and fees 2009. But until that glorious close, fill up your Sunday wisely: spare some time to come and view the Moose.