On Thursday night Lissen and I trundled along to the Design Museum in Shad Thames for the annual Guild of Food Writers awards, along with most of the country's leading food writers and journalists (including the legendary Margeurite Patten, and TV stars such as Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and Rick Stein).
I'd been nominated for the Kate Whiteman award for work in food and travel (for Sushi and Beyond), but having been nominated for things in the past and endured the bitter pill of hearing some other guy's name being read out (on one occasion it was Jeremy Clarkson's, which was especially galling as you might imagine), I had successfully convinced myself I had absolutely no chance of winning.
Even as the host read out the names of the nominees, I was preparing to pull a dignified face, which I think is why I am still in a bit of a state of shock two days later having actually won the thing.
A huge thank you, then, to all the judges who voted for me and to all those who congratulated me afterwards, not least the inestimable Shirley Booth (no relation), a world renowned expert in Japanese cuisine and a most generous soul indeed. Thanks are due too to my publisher Dan Franklin at Random House and my sadly soon-to-be ex-agent, Camilla Hornby at Curtis Brown (only 'soon to be ex- because she is leaving to be a mum for a bit), for supporting me so unstintingly over these last few years.
I now plan to change my name officially by Deed Poll to Award Winning Writer Michael Booth.
You think I'm joking...