Back now. If you're going to meet a literary agent to talk about the book you're working on, I highly recommend having a meeting in the The British Library and then standing at an equidistant point between the Guternberg Bible and the Lindisfarne Gospels. This way you'll be able to put what you're trying to achieve into some sense of what I believe is called 'perspective'.
We discussed, I ate the stalest almond croissant I ever have ated (I believe it may yet turn out to the Guternberg Croissant, leading to me owing said library a hundred squillion pounds), and Agent Sarah has agreed to join my posse* (Agent Ginny won't do books, won't even have them in the house, it's very sad). Which means I actually need to finish the Cabinet book. When I do that, and if it's good, Agent Sarah will attempt to sell it to a good home.
I've decided to set myself the end of September as a deadline. Twelve chapters, at the rate of one a week. I've got a diagram and everything, and as all writers know, once you've done a diagram, it's really just crossing the things, and dotting the other things from there. Note so self: buy coffee.
While at BritLib (as nobody calls it) I went to the A Fine Line event, a discussion about writing for children hosted by Penelope Lively, Julia Eccleshare (Children's Book Editor of The Guardian) and Francis Spufford author of the excellent The Child that Books Built., which I heartily recommend to anyone interested in the process of reading, and of how reading the right books at the right time can utterly alter one's life. Very good discussion, the finer points of which I am still mulling over, but it did make me think about nostalgia (which I dislike, perhaps surprisingly), 'crossover' books (which some people think don't even exist) and JK Rowlling (consensus: lovely lady, but it's very worrying seeing adults reading the Harry Potter books as some form of regressive pleasure - as Francis Spufford pointed out, a child reading a child's novel is having his or her horizons expanded, whereas an adult reading the same novel is having them very slightly narrowed**: discuss).
There may be a transcript of the discussion somewhere: if so, I'll put up a link.
* Thus giving a fighting chance in the annual Green Wing Writers' 'How Many Agents Have You Got, Then?' competition. I believe I now tie with Faymond and Oriette.
** I don't entirely agree with this, but it's an interesting point. It's only the Harry Potter books I was dissing (as if that'll get me out of trouble).