So, I’d met Neil Gaiman, and 14 year old me was halfway there on her life goal quest, owning a twice-signed copy of Good Omens.
The only problem was that part two of the plan involved tracking down a world famous author who had Alzheimers and was probably not doing much touring due to recent aid diagnosis. At any rate, meeting Neil had been a fluke! No way I could pull that one off again.
But in November my father got an email from someone in TCD (Trinity College Dublin, full ‘official’ name – The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin) where he worked saying that Terry Pratchett was receiving an honorary doctorate of English and there were limited tickets available to go and see him give a talk. Some how (Probably through dark magics) my father got me two tickets. Now believe it or not, I had barely any friends at the time who were into Terry Pratchett at the time, and I ended up with a choice of two, one of my best friends or the lad I was dating. I ended up given them to Nadia, a choice I never regretted seeing as me and her had a brilliant time, and me and the lad broke up not long after.
The night before I was going up to Dublin, I did some baking and stayed up most of the night painting an ice cream box to put the biscuits I’d made into. I painted it, painstakingly and quite impressively for the lack of artistry I generally showed, with things from the Discworld, there was the Luggage, Rincewind’s ‘wizzard’ Hat, the Discworld itself, and something else that fails to spring to mind. Biscuits boxed and bagged along with a letter I wrote Sir Terry and a bunch of books in my bag I was ready.
The talk was brilliant, when I saw Terry Pratchett talk a second time his PA had to give most of the talk as Terry’s Alzheimers had progressed further. But when I saw him in 2008 he was brilliant. But the point of our story comes at the end of his talk. He’d finished the talk and was getting ready to walk out down the central aisle. There was going to be a wine reception in The Long Room afterwards but it was unclear whether Terry Pratchett would be there, I got very worried that this was my only chance ever to give the biscuits to Terry Pratchett, As he walked out I asked Nadia if I should give it to him then, and playings devil’s advocate she said yes.
I ran across a row of chairs and jumped into the aisle in front of him, holding out the bag saying “I made you cookies!”, he smiled and laughed, saying “I suppose I’d better give you a kiss then!” and kissed me on the cheek, before walking out.
He was at the wine reception, and I got my copy of Good Omens signed by him, just beneath Neil Gaiman’s signature.
Coming next The Cake Project Part 3: Bell X1