When I arrived at the castle, all my family were waiting there. Some I hadn't seen for seven years, so it was wonderful. Members of my old writing group had turned up[see bottom pic], along with my colleagues at the cancer charity.
We were led into a room [that used to be part of my sixth form common room when I attended the Castle School]. The buffet was already laid out and everyone trooped in.
I needn't have worried. I don't know where my voice came from, but it was strong and focused. I remembered to look up from time to time at the crowd and ad libbed at certain points.
The first part of my speech was about my colleagues and what sort of an organisation we are and why we so badly need a purpose-built building.
The second part of my speech was about my writing and the book itself. I mentioned in my speech how as a fifteen-year-old my English teacher had read my stories out to the class and how I could never have imagined some thirty years later that I would be attending my own book launch in the very same building!
It was a very emotional speech and my mother told me that a lot of people were wiping away tears. Crumbs, it wasn't that bad was it? LOL.
Then we had the book signing. I am so glad that I brought a cold bottle of Evian water along as I didn't have time to get up from the table. I only managed to have a cup of tea and a little bit of food right at the very end.
All the books sold out! I didn't even have one left for the Mayor and his wife! So, I've promised him the first book when the next delivery arrives.
Afterwards, my daughter suggested we went on to Pentrebach House for a drink. It was a lovely evening and we sat under the umbrella in the sun, just chilling.
One of the highlights of the day for me was people coming on to me and telling me how proud they were of me and how they hadn't realised how much I had achieved with my writing. And most of all my own children hugging me and saying the same thing.
Another thing that made my day was the fact that the members of the writing group could remember so much about the stories I had read out to them some six years ago. I hadn't realised that my writing had left such an impression on them!
I think yesterday will be one of those days I will remember all of my life.