The last three weeks have been unforgettable. I almost can’t quite believe I’m typing this from the other side of them- the other side of anxiety, anticipation and the unknown- because I’ve done it. It’s all done- and being someone who rarely takes a moment to be proud, I feel wholly, entirely and incredibly proud of myself (and I’m typing it too, just so I don’t forget it either).
From the moment my book was handed in, in its entirety last autumn- I began feeling pangs of nerves. Even more so when January hit and all of a sudden it was ‘one month until release!’ And ‘one month until the tour!’ But looking back on the last few weeks, it feels almost like a dream. From waking up on the sun soaked morning of launch day- to coco pops and flowers from Joe and the best launch I could ask for. To coaching sessions so I’d be able to tackle public speaking every night on the tour two weeks after (more on this very soon). To now- on the other side, slightly exhausted and a little burnt out- but warm and satisfied that I’ve danced into the unknown, and as well as surviving it (dramatic, even for the most nervous of Purvis’s)- enjoyed it too.
Anyway! Today I wanted to write a little bit of a tour diary post up on the blog. Although it was a short and sweet tour to start the book festivities (there’s several more coming very soon)- it was something I was so excited for, but so painfully nervous for too. For me, public speaking is up there with the sweaty feet and fluttery tummies of sky diving and stalling at the front of a set of lights. It’s just not pleasurable. Despite how much you’d think I’d enjoy the sound of my own voice (and sadly my own jokes sometimes too)- doing this felt like an enormous hurdle, so being able to do it, and look forward to it each evening was paramount for me.
We had four dates on the tour; Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh- and the hometown show, Bromley (the O2 arena homecoming gig for Lewis Ca-Purvis over here). It was just me and the lovely Alex at Orion on the road, with either Sara, Collette or Gabby from Oliver Bonas along each evening, checking everything went smoothly in store. We barely had a moment in each city, but it was so lovely heading back to some of my favourite cities in the UK, each of which hold such special memories- and document such a special period of my career in them. So without further ado, let’s go on tour!
Day 1, Manchester
Our first stop on the road was Manchester! I was possibly the most nervous for this date as I had no idea what to expect/if anyone would show up/how it would all work. We’d had a couple of meetings beforehand, and I knew I had my wonderful guest Nadia coming along to cover all things body image and I knew what we were going to talk about- but other than that I really did have the first night jitters. Thankfully, I had nothing to worry about. Alex and I checked into our hotel (the Cow Hollow in the Northern Quarter), and I was met with some good luck brownies from my family on the bed, before I started getting ready- my heart! We arrived at Oliver Bonas about an hour before things started, to set up, see the space and say hello to people as they arrived. As well as some familiar faces and friends in the audience which was so SO lovely, my sister in law Lucy and her boyfriend Danny were there in the front row to cheer me on (and make me laugh) and it couldn’t have gone better. We went out for dinner at Rudy’s afterwards, and I inhaled fluffy cloud pizza crusts before hitting the hay and getting ready for day 2!
Day 2, Liverpool
After a quick morning stop at Fred Aldous (obligatory) and Retro Rehab- Alex and I hopped on the train to Liverpool for the second evening of the tour. We arrived in the city for lunchtime, which meant we had a few hours to catch up on emails, grab a sausage sandwich and polish away a couple of pots of tea in the meantime. So where else to go than Leaf! I spent many afternoons here when I was studying in the city- and it felt like the perfect place to calm my nerves and while away the afternoon. It was surreal being back in Liverpool- and although things have changed, it still felt very familiar heading to Liverpool One for the event in the evening. With Lucy and Tea on the panel for the evening covering all things comparison and imposter syndrome, we spent hours nattering long after we’d finished our talk with all of the wonderful women who’d attended (so much so we nearly had a couple of missed trains)! It was such a special night, and afterwards Alex, Sara and I headed to Maray on Bold Street which s o many people had raved to us about- and with good reason, it was delicious! We headed back and I managed to catch the end of the Brits (like the nana I am)- half way through!
Day 3, Edinburgh
One thing people asked a lot on the tour, is if each evening it got a little easier. In some ways it did- I got the swing of my cues- introducing people, knowing how to interrupt a little less when others were talking (ahem) and keep the conversation going if people felt nervous or unsure. But each evening had such a different dynamic, that one evenings nerves could be something different altogether the next night- which kept me on my toes for sure! After checking out of our hotel in Liverpool- one cancelled train, some AWOL books and a new ticket later- I was on my way to Edinburgh! Strangely I felt unusually nervous, but thankfully had my wonderful pal Amy with me (stepping in where sadly Saima couldn’t make it) and I knew we’d get through it- talking about all things self belief (so we had to do a bit of practising what we were preaching). After hanging around to chat to lots of lovely ladies, Amy and I wriggled back to our hotel, ordering pizza and watching a silly amount of vintage Elvis and Paolo Nutini videos before bed (and giggling like the little old ladies we are).
Day 4, Bromley
THE HOMECOMING SHOW! After waking up bright and early to say goodbye to Amy, I headed to catch my train to London- with five hours of Spotify and Daisy Jones and The Six to keep me company. I arrived at Kings Cross a little bleary eyed- BUT NO TIME TO SPARE! It was time to head home, have a power shower (or bath), get changed, give Maggie a cuddle and head to Bromley’s shiny new Oliver Bonas (the Glades is THRILLED to have you). The last event was hosted with my best friend Gemma, and we were covering all things friendship. I knew she was a bit nervous beforehand- but honestly, you couldn’t have guessed. Although perhaps a little indulgent to bring your best mate along to natter about friendships, it was the most wonderful evening- sharing anecdotes and advice with a friend I’ve known since I was 11- in a place where we’ve spent so many years and so many memories. The Glades holds so much sentiment to us both (I’m a soppy old fool), and ending the most magical week here- with some of my closest family and friends in one place (before having a celebratory Wagamama’s) felt very ~full circle~ indeed.
…and that’s a wrap! It’s so nice to do a bit of ~relative~ old school blogging when it comes to documenting big chapters on here. Diary entry-ing it all down to look back on, and share more of a play-by-play instead of just a few quick Instagrams. Anyway! I hope you’ve enjoyed this little journey- there’s a few more book related posts coming soon (from the writing process to the coaching), but if anyone has anything specific they’d like to know about, I’m all ears!
P.S Thank you for all of the wonderful support on the book thus far. It means the world and more. If you’d like to read the book you can order it here* (affiliate link) <3