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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Bears Abroad

So it looks like, in that way in which things will happen, I will be in and around Southern England in the first half of April.  I'll be catsitting for a friend in Lymington, so only day trips are possible (sorry, autopopellygoden, dinahmt, hawleygriffinkatallen :-( --alas, it also means I can't make the BSFA awards, I think, though I will be on the right island at the right time), and I plan to use this opportunity to visit London, Deptford, Canterbury, and (if it proves feasible) Stratford-Upon-Avon and Cambridge, there to perform Yet Another research pass for The Stratford Man, The Journeyman Devil, and The Cobbler's Boy.

Also, I may take the ferry over to the Isle of Wight because, you know, it's there.

But this means I'll be within easy day trip distance of rather a few of you. Wanna do lunch? Any London bookstores I should email to ask if they'd like to have me for a signing?


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Of course we want to do lunch! If you have a day free in the first week of April, I know a great Lebanese restaurant in the very centre of London that is both cheap, serves fab food and can sit a big table.

But no chance at all of a visit to Glasgow 14-17 April? We could find you panels.
Well, my hosts would be back by then, but the cost of the hotel room and so forth, I'm afraid, would be a bit more than I'm comfortable spending right this second. Which is really sad, because I would love to visit Scotland, and I have friends in Yorkshire who I'd love an excuse to make a flying visit to, and I'll be buying a Britrail pass anyway, I expect.

So... Hmm.

I will of course have a day or three in London. And lunch sounds like a lovely break in grovelling through Elizabethan theatre reconstructions and the National Portrait Gallery.
Nuts. In addition to The Scottish Convention, I'm in the lake district from 7th-14th April. But if by 'first half of April' you're including the first week of the month then yes, I'm absolutely up for a meet.
And obviously I'm offended that Oxford isn't on your list of places to visit. :p
I don't think they pressurize the cargo hold....
Oooh! I would be more than happy to drive down and meet you somewhere, should we be able to wrangle something...?
It's possible!
Sounds like you're already well hooked-up but if you need/want advice/suggestions on things to see, places to go, travel arrangements, etc. holler.
Oh, am so jealous. Yes, I know I was just over there. Am jealous nonetheless.

After seveal abortive attempts, I got to see Canterbury, my last trip over. It was snowing. (!) My inner Chaucer geek was finally appeased. And no, I didn't quote the Tales from memory. Much.

You should absolutely stop in at Forbidden Planet, if nothing else.

*g* Thanks! I sent them an email.

You don't get to be jealous; you've already been to England.


In reply to your comments about bookshops for readings I wondered if you were looking for bookshops that aren't chains? i.e. NOT Waterstones.

Leaving them aside Foyles (Tottenham Court Rd) frequently does readings and book launches. In terms of sci-fi/fantasy related places Murder One is a genre bookshop that deals in Crime fiction, Science Fiction and romance novels Their head-honcho guy writes reviews for the Saturday Guardian (newapaper which I'm sure you know) and is a published crime author. E-mail them because they used to have a sci-fi fantasy section but checking out the webpage makes me think it got lost when they moved premises.

The mecca is probably The Forbidden Planet which is the most eminent aforementioned genre bookshop.

I ought to also mention that Neil Gaiman did a Q&A and a reading/launch of his most recent novel at the Student Union of the University of London. It does sit a stones throw away from one of the largest Waterstones mind you...

Re: Bookshops

Yeah, I understood Murder One had a rather good sale of all the New Worlds stock when they moved and weren't doing SFF anymore.

Forbiden Planet also have a store in Cambridge, as it happens.
That would be just swimming. Everything's better with a native guide.

What days are good for you?
Would Saturday 1st April work for you? Say 12:30?

(And would you be happy for coalescent and myself to advertise it? I reckon we could get about ten people together with very little effort. Have lunch, adjourn to a decent pub--or park if the weather is good. There is a tradition of teddy bear picnics in the UK :-)
It *should*--depending on when FP wants me for the signing, it could even be ideal, as we're talking about either 4/1 or 4/8.
Yay! Yay! come and have delicious S Indian veggie buffet! (I am sure I can think of other things to do as well.)
*g* Does that mean you're in for a lunchy thing???
And PS not sure if the Fantasy Centre do signings - they are more of a secondhand bookshop, also Holloway Road perhaps a bit off the beaten track.
You're welcome in Glastonbury any time, but if fjm organises something, I can make it up to London easily enough. Most of April is insane for me (Antwerp, Ireland, Scotland) but the early part is less hectic and I am generally free-ish during the week.

If you need access to Cambridge colleges, let me know and I can meet you up there: I'm a member of the uni and thus you should not have to pay for entry etc if you're with a member.

As others have said, I'm sure FP would be delighted to have you. I will be in there for a signing on Saturday - would you like me to have a word with them?
I would *love* to meet you in Cambridge. A native guide, as I just told brisingamen, makes everything better.

It looks like I may be committed in London on April 1 and/or April 8 (and the London Lunch Date is sounding like April Fools' Day), but other than that, at this point, I am at your convenience.
Edinburgh tour guides available, but be warned, it's a long haul. Might be do-able if you're willing to desert your cat-sitting charges for an overnight trip. Fastest route, London-EDI, is to fly; assuming no flight delays and hand luggage only, you can probably do it city centre to city centre in three hours, compared to 4.5 hours by train.

Alternatively: take an early morning train up, then return via the Scotrail sleeper service (departs Edinburgh around 11pm, arrives Euston around 7am the next morning -- but needs to be booked in advance and costs about £22 extra for the bunk berth).
Yeah, I think I am going to have to skip Scotland this trip. Which is sad, alas! But... maybe next time?
North of England/Scotland really deserve a trip of their own. Time to wander around the hills and glens and dales, not to mention all the old towns, etc. It's a shame, but it's better than visiting all stressed out and short for time, imo.

Hope you do get to see Stratford-Upon-Avon. I went there for a short visit and saw Anne Hathaway's cottage and Shakespeare's birthplace. Both were very interesting.
Wow. I totally can't keep up with where all these comments have gone, but I'm based in Kent (I'm just south east of London) and work, occasionally, in and around Soho and Covent Garden. I might be working in London around then, so I'll definately come to a signing at FP. The office I'd probably be at if I go back is only two or three minutes away.

I know a fair bit about pubs, restaurants, hostels, hotels and... well, loads of stuff in London. So feel free to drop me an email if I can help. Address is chris at ljusername dot net (not literally ljusername, ovvy!!!!!) - happy to help if I can.
*g* My itinerary is pretty well set, but I'll post it here once I know it for sure so I can meet up with people for meals or whatever.
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