Thursday, November 08, 2007


Well, it doesn't seem to be in today's online Guardian yet but I know I didn't dream it because the flowers are still here and I know I was on the shortlist because my name was mentioned here and that's why I was invited to the party last night.

Thrilled to bits in a nonchalant way to be one of six chosen out of 700 entries to the Guardian Mary Stott Prize Competition (I had sent an entry back in July) booted and beautified I swaggered over to a posh private club in Covent Garden weirdly appropriately called "The Hospital" and within minutes I was swigging champagne out of long tall glasses and being welcomed by Kira Cochrane, women's editor, Katharine Viner, features editor, and other Guardian luminaries who, strangely, seemed to know all about me and as if that wasn't enough soon I was chatting with Joan Bakewell, Katharine Whitehorn, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Posy Simmonds all of whom happen to be among the most brilliantly talented women on the planet.

When the crowd and the sound of talking was at its peak, there was a plea for silence and two enormous bouquets of flowers appeared. By that time the heels of my deceitful bargain boots were giving me serious aggravation but, fortified by several slim flutes of golden liquid, I was in jovial mood as I waited to hear the winner's name, certain that it was not me since the victorious one was supposed to have been contacted six weeks earlier.

Kira Cochrane said: "The winner is...." and read out two names.

One of which was Natalie d'Arbeloff. That's funny, I thought, someone has the same name as me.

But it was me, your actual moi.

As well as another woman (I'm really sorry but at this moment I don't remember her name).
We are joint winners of The Prize.
One of the two bouquets was for me.
An envelope containing a cheque for £500 was handed to me by
Catherine Stott, delightful daughter of Mary Stott, and we talked.

Some time early in the new year I get to be editor of Guardian Women for a week.

My tortured toes sang an operatic aria, hitting notes of pleasure-pain never heard before.
I took a taxi home.

How many exclamation marks do you need?




Dave said...

Hey, you forgot to link to Blaugustine!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

So I did, Dave. Must be the swollen head. Will correct this grave error right now. Thanks.