The above is not the cover. But when I needed a cover to post One Green Bottle on Book Country, that’s one picture I came up with. The bottles were on google and the red band on the right was the consequence of me messing about with some editing software and finding no way to undo it. And then I discovered anyway that it didn’t have the right number of pixels, and when I fiddled with those the result was even more disastrous.
So then I thought I’d take a picture myself, the basic ingredients being a knife, some blood and, you guessed it, a green bottle. All of which was easy to find, though the blood involved a trip to The Magic Joke Shop in Cambridge, where I spent some time admiring the magnificent disguises before heading over to the blood shelf.
I had to ask for help. Blood, I discovered, is like aftershave: spray, bottle or gel? “Oh, bottle, definitely,” said the hemoglobin assistant, who clearly knew her stuff. When I got back, I tied some string to the bottle and dangled it from the wall outside the house, observed all the while by the neighbour across the road. He was fixing snow chains to his car, which I thought was odd. It was a cold day in January, yes, but bright and sunny all the same. But then, I suppose, I was hardly well placed to describe other people’s behaviour as odd. Eventually, each convinced the other was mad, we sauntered cautiously into the no man’s land between us. “I’m getting in some practice,” he explained. “Off skiing soon.”
“Oh, right. I thought we might be in for snow.”
“Oh, no I think we’ll be fine.” He glanced at the sky. “For the moment, anyway.”
I was holding the blood-covered knife. He was too polite to ask, so I came to his aid. “For a book cover.”
“Ah, OK.” His look of relief turned to worry. “That would be fiction, would it?”
“Oh, yes.” I glanced at the knife. “For the moment, anyway.”