I mean it's not the first time, I was the uber-tall grinning plonker on the back row of the school netball team in the local rag when I was ten and then there was the particularly unflattering pic of me in a Shropshire newspaper when I was a fifteen year old karate fanatic shrieking like a lunatic and launching myself at a terrified photographer. If I kept either eye-rolling article they'll be in the attic, if not then they'll have been turned into paper towels / bog roll or biodegradable paper bags a long time ago.
This time it's different though, after a long plague-ridden Summer, my first book 'The Wit and Wisdom of Hilda Ffinch' is scheduled for publication. There is an advance copy on my bookshelf (keeping an eye on Baden-Powell and his 'Scouting for Boys') and thus far I've avoided the temptation to have the cover turned into a tee-shirt, duvet cover, set of living room curtains and a jaunty little tote bag for mincing about in Tesco. The novelty will of course wear off, and at some point I'm sure I'll be glad that I fought the urge to have the car wrapped (a technical term I believe) with Hilda Ffinch's stunning pink mugshot.
But for now I'm chuffed to little mint balls (as they say up north) and as happy as Larry (whoever he was). My friends and relatives are sending me smiley little emoji's from Canberra to Canada and it was one of them - my cousin-in-law Rachel - who contacted the local paper. Forewarned - or possibly haunted by the memory of my tonsils and fillings on display the length and breadth of Shropshire that time - I supplied my own photo (pre-plague hair roots of course as I currently look like a mildly disgruntled badger) and went for it.
I'm glad I did. The Leader did a good job and there was ne'er a traumatized photographer in sight. Everyone's a winner!