‘Good news,’ my publicist said. ‘The Daily Mail want to run a serial of the book’. That was a couple of weeks ago. Then on Thursday I had a call from the paper saying they need some photos for the feature, ‘You and your wife, you in the Dales, you and your house, you in front of your first school, that kind of thing.’
Being in London and not Yorkshire where I am they didn’t seem to understand that these places are miles apart. In fact, when the photographer (a splendid chap called Jon) did arrive at 10 the next morning I ended up been driven 140 miles by him to find all the necessary locations. We returned back to the house at 4.30pm and the day was almost gone. I suspect that the photos arrived at the Mail too late to be included in last Saturday’s edition too. So, there will hopefully be a fullish page feature on ATGAS in Saturday 23rd’s Mail.
The sun kindly shone for the photos, which was good (esp as it’s rained for about 48 hrs since) and our jaunt to the delightful Dales was fun. Jon wanted a shot of me in front of a drystone wall with hills and cows and maybe a good vernacular farm in the background. Could we find all that with the sun falling just right? It wasn’t easy and we toured around for an hour, tramping across fields and at one point through a farm, where a signposted path had led us. A burly bloke in blue overalls didn’t like the look of us and grunted that, ‘the footpath is that way.’
It didn’t help that Jon was wearing very, er, urban clothes and had loads of photographic equipment dangling from his neck. ‘This chap has written a book based in this area and we’re trying a to get a good shot of him,’ he said, smiling rather too much. The farmer clearly thought we were mental and just stared. ‘We’ll be on our way then,’ added Jon, wisely. I stifled a chortle.
Eventually we found a good wall and some wispy clouds softened the sun. The landscape was spot on. ‘Lean against it,’ said Jon. He took 30 shots. ‘Now move a bit to the left.’ I stepped into a hole. ‘Can you stay a bit higher?’ I stepped on a mound. ‘Too high. Er, what about there?’ There was a bramble there which hooked me swiftly and wouldn’t let go but Jon like this spot and rapidly shot about 20 more pictures. ‘Right, let’s find the school,’ he declared.
Right, it was only about 50 miles away. And we hadn’t checked whether it was OK to take pictures. And there was a new head who didn’t know me. And the kids were about to come out. But, hey, grit your teeth and think of the publicity….