A funny thing happened on the train to London this morning.
Usual thing of having a reserved seat but no sight nor sound of seat 53A nor one with a ticket in it saying Plymouth to London, I'm not sure how this works at all. So then the search begins for an empty seat with a reservation ticket that precedes Plymouth so I know I won't face the humiliation of a turf out when the rightful owner, who somehow does have a ticket with the right number on it, suddenly appears. So I settled into a Par to Reading seat and decided I could immediately check out this 3G connectivity on the iPad. Hey presto it worked and there was Linda Grant tweeting that she was on the Par to London train and wished the buffet was open. 'Me too in coach D' I tweeted back 'I'm in A & there is an empty seat next to me' came the reply.
So my journey to London whizzed by as we talked about Linda's next book, writing in general, a bit of litgoss and books we've both been enjoying, namely Pilcrow by Adam Mars Jones. This seemed very apt as we sped through Taplow and I reminded myself to check whether there ever had been a Red Cross Hospital there. I have never really wanted to read Adam Mars Jones because he writes some really waspish reviews, has trashed a few books I have loved and I had decided I just wouldn't like his books. I am eventually going to have to take it all back, eat humble pie and eulogise because I am captivated by PIlcrow. If you like books set in the 1950s, if you quite like children in novels and especially if you are a nurse, but even if not, you might want to check it out.
Then a lovely walk into Bloomsbury, Bedford Square and the home of Bloomsbury publishers who had laid on a wonderful afternoon for a bevy of book bloggers. First and most importantly there was cake and conversation as we all caught up with each other and chatted with the publicists who are better known to me as names on the end of emails, so it's lovely to add faces to them all. Piles of books around the room...perhaps I should have made that most important thing, and then authors dropping in to talk about their books ( very important) followed by editors ( ever so important) to tell us what is coming up this year and safe to say a good time was had by me at least, and I am sure everyone else.
Of interest to me because I really did enjoy Kate Summerscale's last book, is her follow up to Mr Witcher...hmm exact title eludes me (can't multi task and look things up and be sure I'll find my way back here yet) but it's about a Mrs Robinson and we can expect a similar true tale of Victorian intrigue, but this time think along the lines of Madame Bovary. Kate had us on the edge of our seats and very much looking forward to the book later this year.
Suzanne Joinson talked about her debut novel A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar , and it sounds very tempting. A dual narrative set in both present day London and the 1920's world of the female Christian missionary to be published in July. The Bloomsbury gals had been cycling around the metropolis, in appropriate Edwardian gear, delivering proofs this morning apparently.
More later about the evening event which featured Susannah Clapp in conversation with Christopher Frayling and a fascinating discussion about Angela Carter.
Meanwhile it's 10pm and I am sitting on the train home, surrounded by a great huge pile of books and a table to myself because who in their right mind travels on a train that gets them in at 1am and with an hour's drive home to follow. I have just had kittens and then puppies as the train manager announced the stations...Weston Super Mare?? Nailsea?? Eventually Exeter did come up on the list but we would seem to be getting there via an extended tour of off the beaten track Devon railways.
Linda Grant says I have to buy the Faber app of The Wasteland and gave me a quick demo of it this morning. I was convinced once I discovered that it had a recording of Ted Hughes reading so now here I am, just pulled into Reading and headed who knows where in a westerly direction so I'm going app shopping as a souvenir of a lovely London day.
I do have some photos of the day of course but I had better not run before I can walk with my Blogsy app. I am now going to press the button and see what happens...
Update at Swindon : Courage mon brave...a photo added perhaps??