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Tuesday, 16 June 2015


Well, I always think, if you're going to launch a book into the open seas, your best bet is to give it a bloody big push.  Though my book is not officially out until Thursday, this weekend was the one when the champagne hit the side of the good ship sunflower. And I have to say, it was a cracker.
There has been teacups and sunflowers all over my house for a while now - I even have themed socks...
And, far more interestingly, themed chocolates... the Marilyns - named after the beautiful Ms Monroe (it's all in the book) ...clotted cream and summer pudding (with a splash of champagne) chocs from the wonderful Ms Sciolti 
Now we had shady dealings with each other - trading illegally on the chocolate and book black market and I had to make the pick up last week in a car park miles from anywhere.  But all went well. No one got hurt.

Then it was off to Middlebrough library for their Crossing the Tees Lit Fest where the first copies of my books were available. And what a beautiful place.

And check out the themed buns!
Then the next day it was off to Radio Sheffield to record Liveish with Bernie Clifton under the watchful eye of my producer pal David Markwell - and fellow panellist Huw Thomas who had never done the show before and will never be the same again. Poor bloke.

And if you've never played PING PONG DING DONG on air, well, you haven't lived!

Then I had to scoot down to London (like you do) for an afternoon tea at the very gorgeous Grosvenor House on Park Lane for a v important #teammilly strategy meeting.  Champagne, fruit amuse-bouche and a sorceror's apprentice constant supply of plates, warm freshly baked scones and never-ending tea.  It wasn't bad at all.  Oh and the classiest goody bags in Christendom.  And the place was bedecked in sunflowers for me.

And the company was totally delightful.  It's so lovely to put faces to names.  Well it is for me - I'm sure it was of a shock for them!
What was a nice surprise was the 21-bum salute the hotel arranged for me.  OK - not really - a naked protest meeting with mainly cyclists and some joggers.  We were so disgusted, we raced to the windows to make sure our eyes were not deceiving us.

By Sunday my house is unliveable in. It is full of raffle prizes so kindly donated by everyone - Elizabeth Arden, Yorkshire Tea (see my previous post about details), Barmy Bunting, ARK cosmetics, Chris Sedgewick, Walkers, Bahlsen, Tetleys... And THE most beautiful Rob Royd hamper.

Yesterday we loaded up the cars and belted over to Mapp Village Hall - after my fix of drugs - ie coffee, lippy and a squirt of Elizabeth Arden perfume

. My son has finished school so he had the choice of helping his mother or being shoved up a chimney.  He picked the latter, but I dragged him along anyway.  240 goody bags to fill... and they were crackers this year!

we got there in the end!
Though I heard later that some were more interested in the bag than the contents
The Staniforths Cakes were as SUPERB AND MASSIVE as always

Early arrivals were fellow author M Jonathan Lee 'Joff' who sat on the far aisle so he could make a quick getaway ;) He kindly donated a stack of books which went down very well if the cheering was anything to go by.  Bigger cheers than mine, not that I'm bitter.  But he's not invited again.
The prizes were amazing and kept coming ... including this beeeoootiful cake by Christina.

It was full to capacity.  I talked for a bit - fully themed up!
And then when everyone had woken up - we drew the raffle - which took AGES!!!  But Yorkshire Cat Rescue and the Well can split £1400 between them. And there was £100 and some loose change in the bucket for Care for Claire.  Isn't that lovely?
And it is ALWAYS such a privilege to sign books and talk to the people who buy them

 Including Jo - who came down all the way from Newcastle to see me - we were in school together for years.  ('Bloody hell, she's doing well if she's the same age as you.  She only looks about 35.'  Cheers - OH!)  That was a TREAT.
And we surprised our lovely town librarian Jill who had recently retired with a call-out because you remember (or at least you should) those who were with you from the very beginning.  My lovely Carnevale friends made her THE most beautiful cake in the universe.
The wonderful Sandra at Mapp village hall won the Teapot I had my eye on.
A word here about my two glamorous assistants who were run RAGGED Yesterday picking out the tickets and delivering the prizes... Isabelle and Amelia.  I couldn't do this without them...

And - THERE IS A GOD - because guess who won the giant Lindor Sweetie!!!

Thanks to everyone who came and all the lovely comments and buying the books - 200 and odd sold.  I had a great time but boy I was knackered.  I took a giant Mapplewell freshly baked scone in a goody bag though for the next day.
But only one way to end a night like that... with a giant scone and a Marilyn or two and a little bit of fizz.


  1. We had a fab time at launch night! We travelled from East Cheshire to attend, as I have been an avid follower after discovering "Yorkshire Pudding Club" in my local library three years ago. Milly clearly has a warm spirit and is passionate about supporting her local community - all towns should have a " Milly " ambassador! I wish Milly every success with her new baby. Remember to cherish those " SUN " moments....until the let down!

  2. Oh Milly, it all sounds fantastic - how brilliant and lovely you are! xxx

  3. What a fabulous couple of days you've had in readiness for the launch of Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe. It's wonderful to include your readers in your launches, a very generous author to your readers and your favourite charities. Wishing you lots of success with your book, Adele x

  4. I am a fan, have all your books and hope I will be able to ask you to sign one for me soon... Might be later than sooner as I live in The Netherlands... But I can hope, can't I?