The Talk at the Women's Institute.
It was in a bowling club and as there was a snooker tournament being held in their usual room this meant they had had to relocate to the downstairs bar so I gave my talk against a background of till bells and people giving orders - but they were fairly quiet so it wasn't too bad.
The organisers had worked hard: they had not only managed to borrow a digital projector but, when they had found that our new location did not have a suitable plain wall, one of them had rushed home for a screen. 'There it is,' one of them said, pointing to a couple of bags. 'I haven't touched it, I don't know anything about that sort of thing.'
I am better at keeping calm now. I help with the screen, untangle cables, plug them in and hope for the best. When it doesn't work straightaway I fiddle around with connections, turn things off and on (I have no system, I'm afraid) and generally persevere until I get a picture. It usually works in the end.
After all, I tell myself when I feel myself starting to become anxious - what does it matter? If the projector doesn't work, I could just give the talk without it. It wouldn't be anywhere near as good but it would be all right. Nothing very bad would happen.
So then, after 'the business' part of the meeting (they were an informal group - no singing of Jerusalem here) I gave my talk. They were a very attentive audience and gratifyingly asked lots of questions - a few of them even bought my book. Then, after about two hours I packed up and went home again, arriving back at 11pm. It had been an exhausting day but even so I found I was content and fairly happy.
And this happiness is staying with me. In fact I'm actively trying to keep it with me. I think of it like a film of air I have taken with me as I dive again into the next day. Just recently I've felt as if I'm in a dark watery place and I'm struggling to escape. But if I keep this silvery air with me everything will turn out well. Happiness, I know, enhances creativity. Without it there can be no fire and there has to be fire for something new to happen.