Yes, that is a chicken on my head

Dear Sophia

You have been an author for some time now, and have spent an awful lot of it in your shed, on your own, trying to write about girls with big dreams. Today, your German publisher is celebrating its 5th birthday and we would like you to do something different.

You must come to the Leipzig Book Festival, which is one of the biggest book fairs in Europe.

Temp - 01

Your book will be on display … Temp - 02

Along with many others. The fair is HUGE. Temp - 03

Some of the book displays there are beautiful … Temp - 04

And there will be book covers you lust after for your own. Even if they happen to be for cookery books …Temp - 05

And books you just want to walk out with. Such as the best friendship bracelet book ever. Temp - 06

Oh, and because it’s a birthday, there will be an event for 70 bloggers, with strawberry cake. Very delicious strawberry cake. I mean, seriously delicious. You will, in fact, conduct a whole blogger interview while eating strawberry cake. Temp - 07

And, because your publisher is … well … a little different, there will be an egg and spoon race, which you will run against 3 lucky bloggers, and Barry Cunningham. Did we mention, you and Barry will be wearing chickens on your heads. We didn’t mention that? Oh.

Temp - 08

But there are compensations. When one of the bloggers gives you her book to sign, you’ll discover she’s marked about a dozen pages with her favourite quotes. At this point, even though her English is good, you wish your German was better so you could explain how much it means to you that your book means so much to her. This is, in fact, your favourite moment from the trip. (Closely followed by the strawberry cake.)Temp - 09 Temp - 10


And there will be Manga. Much Manga. A whole arena devoted to it. With lots of cosplay. Temp - 11

You will spend much time contemplating wigs. And wishing you’d bought a red one, for book events. Temp - 12

And a rainbow lamb. Because. Temp - 13

In Cologne, you will stay in a hotel made out of the largest water tower in Europe. It will be luxurious and glam. You won’t even need to wear the chicken on your head for this part. Temp - 14

There will be churches … Temp - 15

And cathedrals … Temp - 16

And art …  Temp - 18

Throughout the trip, you will be treated like a queen, and looked after by your fabulous publishing team: Anja, Hilke, and Annette, the actress who will brilliantly read extracts from your book in German (frankly, better than you do in English – you secretly vow to up your game). They are all stars, and you’ll be forever grateful.


You will fly Germanwings – an airline you hadn’t heard of before (being mostly stuck in your shed, as previously mentioned) – and will find them smooth, reliable an easy to use. A week after you get back, one of their planes will crash into the French Alps, and nothing will be quite the same again. You will feel sick that you can picture the plane exactly, and those passengers, and what a simple trip it should have been. You will be impressed with the dignified and thoughtful way the airline tries to look after the grieving relatives and help with the investigation. You will feel solidarity for Germany, in its time of enormous grief. And grateful that it looked after you so well.

And then, somewhat discombobulated, you will go back to your shed.

6 thoughts on “Yes, that is a chicken on my head

  1. beautifully written – i was chuckling away right up until you pulled the rug – well said, so very well said x

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