Saturday, July 19, 2008

A week out of focus


The past week has passed by in a blur. It started with a party at our local bookshop where I stood,signed and looked wild-eyed as a pile of books grew smaller and smaller. This was the first time that we had seen the book in any greater quantity than one. Freddie got into the swing of things, perfecting a flourish in his signature. My messages started out carefully chosen and daintily written. Several glasses of wine later and I was scrawling "Eat yer veg!".Hannah Miles from Hannah's Country Kitchen arrived with a huge basket of beautiful vegetable cakes. Then there was the fun of visiting bookshops and stores and finding the book on their shelves. A car picked us up to take us to the BBC to be teleported around the UK in a virtual radio tour from Scotland to Northern Ireland, down to the Solent and up to Northumberland, eight interviews in a day. Whenever there was a gap between interviews we escaped the hessian-clad walls of the BBC studio for an aquarium shop next door; swapping one goldfish bowl for another. Freddie was silent when asked, "So has your mother psychologically manipulated you?" and then quietly muttered into the mike, "I don't think so." whilst mouthing to me, "what does he mean Mum?". He spilt an entire cup of lukewarm cocoa over his trousers during one interview. An hour later and the room smelt of sour milk. "At least its not television", said Freddie, as he stared at this huge brown stain on his trousers.
A reporter from a Sunday paper came to see our kitchen, the scene of a thousand vegetable challenges. We called Freddie in from the street where he was batting a ball against a wall and he politely answered questions about his vegetable adventures, turning to me every two minutes to ask if he could eat a third piece of chocolate cake.
Other highlights of the week include...
Squeezing myself into a tight black lycra tube, following a recommendation by a friend that if I did, it would look as if I had dropped a dress size. In fact I looked like a giant black slug.
And Alexandra helping me at one in the morning to finish cooking four dishes from the book the night before a TV interview.(Following a last minute request from a TV producer, would you be able to bring in some food with you?)

So far we have some wonderful vegetable faces in - but we need more. Australia has yet to send us one which is very disappointing! ( Confused - see two posts down...)
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  1. Woweeeeee! A BBC car - now that is VIP treatment! How exciting, a week to remember!

    I love the book - hope it's a huge success!


  2. Ohhhhhhhh! The book tour! When the cook comes to the States (it will, yes?!) you've just got to make sure that the cities includes St. Louis!

    Looks like fun, too bad re the slugs and the cocoa and isn't it great that these will be the things you laugh about first, way down the road ...

    PS Freddie, your mum soo didn't manipulate you, that's the whole point of the challenge. She never asked you to like something, she just asked you to try it. And then you got to decide if you liked it at all and if you did, how much. Good for you, telling the guy you didn't think so.

  3. Must pick up a copy soon. Congrats on the book and I hope it is a huge sucess too, actually I am sure it will be if your book is as good as your blog. Well done Charlotte, Freddie and Alex!!!

  4. You look lovely!

    When will you be touring the US?

  5. Great Big Veg Challenge4:10 PM

    Thank you - I dont know when I will get to tour the would be a dream come true..

    Thank you so much for being with us along the way. Hope you enjoy the book - its got the feel of the blog but in a book form.

    Magic Cochin - Cars coming to pick one up is a real treat and it means we get there on time! We were speaking to Radio Suffolk this week too..
    Freddie liked what you wrote just then. I do hope the book goes to the US - one can but dream!

  6. have just ordered my copy online to pick up at my local whsmiths - hopefully it will be in town by thursday! i'm all excited now!

    it's been so nice to see your progress through the alphabet and see such a wonderful result at the end.

  7. you need no longer be disappointed with the Australian fan base... Apologies for the delay!

  8. Wow, what a week you have had! I can't wait to see the veggie faces :)

  9. This is brilliant! I will be trying it with my girls, one of whom is an aspiring chef, and will really appreciate your photos. Thank you for going to the trouble of documenting it all online!

  10. Great Big Veg Challenge5:28 PM

    Pintsize - You are welcome. Its been great fun sharing our mad journey with the world. Couldn't have done it without all of you!

    Holler - They might take a little while as we are so ridiculously BUSy with all kinds of book-related fun. The faces so far are excellent.
    Grocer - Thanks - We love the face. its very Easter Island!

    Jenny. Thanks. Let me know what you think when it arrives!

  11. Have sent an urgent SOS to Australia - hoping that the family can see their way through 3 boys under 3 to assemble a face & take a photo before it disappears!

  12. 10.35 Tuesday 22 July - Charlotte !!!! Woman's Hour! Radio Four. Well done!!!

    OOOOO!!! and Greg from Masterchef!

    Freddie you're a star, and you sounded so professional chatting to Jenny Murry and Greg.

    Hope you had a fun time!

  13. The veg face will be submitted tomorrow after our box is delivered!

    I will forgive you again for visiting these parts and not popping in Charlotte. Harumph....


  14. "Did your mum psychologically manipulate you" !!?!

    Well done for not slapping the interviewer. I would have.

    Can't wait for the veggie faces and I agree, we should meet up and eat vegetables when I get to Putney.

  15. Charlotte6:00 PM

    Ros - Please do - when youre
    resettling in Putney?
    David Hall - Looking forward to it very much...

    Magic Cochin - Iknow I know.It was very exciting indeed!

    Top Veg - Thanks. We will be giving this another fortnight as we need a break too - andwant to get the BEST faces asap

  16. What a great blog! I wish I had discovered this sooner. When will your book be available in the states?

  17. - Congratultions, Charlotte! The book looks beautiful and what a loving and caring way to show your children that you love them.

  18. I can only imagine what an exciting and wonderful journey this has been and continues to be for you and your family. Hearty congratulations!

  19. Such exciting news...ENJOY!!!!!


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