Okay, so that's not what the invitation said. Officially, I was invited to morning tea with several other Powerful Women of the Online World*, in order for the PM to learn more about what we did, and, presumably, spread a little PR goodness. But I knew the real reason. Clearly, she had learned about my book, and was wanting to find a way to get a copy without having to actually buy it. After all, if anyone saw Julia Gillard in a shop purchasing The Little Book of Anxiety, they might think she is anxious, and that wouldn't be good for her public image.
Still, I didn't want to give the game away, so I went along with the official line. I dubbed the morning tea PMtea on Twitter, which earned the approval of JG herself. No doubt she was relieved I didn't share her little secret.
At 10am, the appointed hour, I gathered outside the gates of Kirribilli house with the other women. Not wishing to embarrass Julia, I hid the book discreetly in a paper bag, as you can see from the photo below.
Once inside Kirribilli house, I gathered with the other Powerful Women of the Online World, drinking tea from fine china, and scoffing smoked salmon sandwiches and sweet delicacies of various colours. It was exciting to be with the other bloggers and journalists, but I knew the purpose of my visit, and I bided my time patiently until the woman who had summonsed me appeared.
And there she was, resplendent in a peacock blue jacket and scarf, moving comfortably through the crowd, chatting graciously to each guest in turn.
I bided my time, holding The Little Book of Anxiety, and waiting for Julia to gain the courage to approach me. And finally, she did.
"Kerri?" she asked, and we shook hands. "Nice to meet you."
"Thank you for inviting me!" I said, and gave her a knowing nod. "I'm glad you liked the term PMtea."
"Oh I did," she said. "Very appropriate."
She clearly was too nervous to ask me directly, so I decided to make it easier for her.
"I brought a gift for you," I said, and held out the bag. She pulled out the book, and looked delighted.
"Ah, a memoir of anxiety!" she exclaimed. "This looks very interesting."
She was good, very good. Obviously years of having to maintain a poker face in Parliament had stood her in good stead. No bystander would know she had ever heard of my book, let alone set up an entire bogus morning tea in order to get her hands on it.
But I knew better.
"Photo?" another blogger asked.
"Definitely," I said. I knew Julia felt awkward about having to seek my counsel about such a delicate issue, so I quickly grabbed the book back and put it out of sight. "No need to get that in the photo," I told her.
We spoke some more, and I asked Ms G how she relaxes at the end of the day. "I chat to Tim, and I knit, and I read in the bath," she said, "but obviously that's where the limitations of Kindle become clear!"
"Oh, I know of some waterproof books if you're interested," I told her, before realising I was discussing waterproof erotica with the Prime Minister of Australia.
"Hmm, I'm not sure that would be the best thing to have on the shelf when the NATO Secretary General comes to visit," Julia responded, and I had to agree.
All in all, though, our meeting went well. Mostly, I am glad that I managed to hand the PM the resource material she needed, without the entire world having to know.
After all, if there's one thing I pride myself on, it is my absolute discretion.
*this is my phrase, not the official Government term**
**I suspect the official Government term is 'bloggers'