We were at a birthday party - sort of - last night. The Murder Squad crimewriters' group are celebrating 21 years since they first joined forces to promote their books. The original plan was to organise lots and lots of events for their 20th year, but when that didn't happen they got writing instead, and have produced a 21st birthday collection of short stories. It's called Many Deadly Returns, and last night was the launch party, at Whitley Bay's new (yes, opened if not quite under lockdown then certainly at a time of restrictions).
We were invited to the party as the Squad's website team and longtime collaborators. We did it properly (by our standards): I put on rings and a necklace, which I haven't done all year, and smart shoes (which may have been a mistake). We joined the group who were eating an early dinner at Hinnies restaurant on the seafront, then all walked en masse round to the bookshop, where there was fizz, and an elaborately iced cake (both bookshaped and murderous, of course) and talking about books, mostly, to old friends - and complete strangers! Plus one former colleague from - oh, probably also from twenty years ago.
All of which was delightful, but felt a bit strange. I haven't been wih so many people indoors since before the first lockdown: I'm thinking it must have been the last quiz that was actually at the Elm Tree. I enjoyed myseld, and wasn't particularly spooked by it. But I also feel that I could do with a rest before I do it again! This entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth: comments always welcome, at either location.