Came across this article (and this one) yesterday morning. I met Roald Dahl once when I was a child. He was doing a book signing in Kenny’s bookshop in Galway and my parents brought us along. You had to buy a book if you wanted to meet him. I bought the only book by him in the shop that I’d hadn’t read already: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. The book itself was pure shite, a fact that has since forever retroactively tainted the memory of our meeting for me. Each child had been given a small card on which to write their name, so the author knew how to greet us when the time came. My older sister signed her name in joined writing. I didn’t reall know how to do joined writing, but I was fucked if I was letting her beat me. So I improvised. When I was put in front of him, he had no idea what was written on my card and didn’t know what to call me. He looked cross.
He was an old man, not particularly friendly and wearing a pair of flaired green corduroy trousers. I’d never seen flaired green corduroy trousers. Those are my only memories of the encounter, the green corduroy trouser and the fact that he was cross. A few months later we heard on the radio that he was dead.