One of my favourite things about Not Living In a Tent Anymore (besides the obvious luxuries such as ceilings, hot water, internets, beds, & Real Food) is that if is far easier to Do Stuff
. Nocturnal fieldwork does tend to cramp one's style rather and toads aren't known as party animals.
This evening, I wandered around eating fresh-raspberry&cream pastries, visited the site of The Bone House (ie. Spa Fields Burial Ground -- 2acres, room for 2000 corpses -> 80,000 burials + "corpse shredding") and ended up at the China Mieville (1)
/Cory Doctorow reading/discussion event hosted by Clerkenwell Tales Bookshop
, moderated by Rob Sharp of English PEN(2
Or rather, it was supposed to be in Clerkenwell Tales. It was actually next door into a rather spiffy old church with a splendid teal-blue ceiling and excellent acoustics...which was rather fortunate as the microphones were on the blink.
Books! Readings! Interesting Discussions On Stuff! Very Drinkable Free Wine!
Any one of those is far more exciting than sitting in my tent, waiting for it to rain. Also, even when combined, they involve 100% fewer marauding cows.
The event (which was live-tweeted by @CherylMorgan
) ended somewhat earlier than expected, as one poor woman developed medical issues, but it was still a jolly nice night out. Picked up one of Cory's books, a second copy of China's Looking For Jake
(swans stole the first copy (3)
before I finished it ) and Kraken
I have no clue whatsoever what Kraken
is about, except it contains "lots of specimen jars and the Natural History Museum". I love the latter and the tunnels(4)
below work are full of the former, so yay etc etc and so-forth.
Alas, I had to hoof it homewards immediately as I have a Report of DOOM to compose. Must do this more often (though I bet the SF events at Forbidden Planet aren't nearly so civilised.)
- - - - - 1) I imprinted on China's early novels at some vulnerable teenage stage -- to the extent that I wrote my final AP EnglishLit exam paper (my A-level English equivalent) on Perdido Street Station, knowing full-well the "lack of literature" would fail me. Like many of novels I loved as a teen, I won't reread them now. I'm too afraid they won't be as magic as I remember. ;-/
2) English charity devoted to literature and human rights.
3) Seriously. Swans. Never trust the buggers. You leave a book open by the side of a pond-- you come back to find it guarded by swans and cygnets and being shat on. Then it falls in the water.
4) The tunnels are really an extensive system of cellars, full of the junk a large organisation accumulates over the decades. Down there are many Mysterious Things in Bottles, such as pickled axolotls, a billion-and-five-buckets-of-dolphin-brain, and a dead baby in a jar labelled "antelope heart" rediscovered among Victorian pickled frogs. To avoid paperwork, I'm told the baby was recently smuggled by train to a mysterious gentleman in Scotland. What the hell he's going to do with it, I have not the foggiest.