Part 4 of 4
galtine1, if you're out there: we bought some red stuff in the Cadbury shops. We didn't find a bargain on the Bournvilles (which have a red wrapper), but we bought some strawberry "Bubbaloo" bubble gum, Cherry Drops (hard candies), some jelly (we'd call it Jell-O) that I can mix up with some of the rum and brandy I brought if you think it appropriate, some red wrapped "Chomp" bars (got a good deal on those, you'd be proud), five big Dairy Milk Turkish bars (which are chocolate with a red filling)... On the whole we spent about 7 or 8 british pounds (about $15 US), and I believe we got considerably more than 8 pounds of chocolate (about 17 kg).
We went back to the Bournville station, returned to Birmingham New Street, and got on another first class carriage to go back to London. (On the Virgin Trains service between London and Birmingham, the first three cars behind the locomotive are first class; more accurately, half the first car and the next two cars, because the other half of the first car is the galley.) And as soon as we got rolling, they plied us with food and drink again. I didn't get a bheer off the trolley -- although I wish I'd thought of a cider -- but they came 'round with cut sandwiches. Oh, what a decadent luxury: someone's not only made us sandwiches, but they've already cut them diagonally into quarters. There was a chicken sandwich with some kind of greens -- lily pads? -- and a bacon-gorgonzola sandwich. And another I didn't try. I felt very brave when I tried the Gorgonzola, because I'm not really a huge fan of strongly-flavored cheese. I think Gorgonzola is the fermentic garlic of the cheese world; or at least, that's how I feel now, I imagine if I run into some Limburger I may need to reassess that position. Glad I tried it, not in a hurry to have another. And they had little lemon cake slices for us, too. Very handy when you're trying to clean your palate of the Gorgonzola experience I might add.
So that was Second Lunch.
We got back to our little hotel, showered, and headed out to Walkers of Holborn. The London Tun (i.e. fandom meet-up) meets at Walkers of Holborn now, which I'd learned by reading Ansible and I thought it was an important stop on our trip. (I was surprised not to see Suzle there, although I did see pnh, Erik, and Spike & Tom.) My notes indicated that Blackfriars was the closest Underground station, and it looked like you could get their via our Britrail pass more directly than going on the Tube. It turns out that it's on the Thameslink link. The "King's Cross Thameslink" station doesn't seem to be as close to King's Cross as St. Pancras Station is, but that's a nit; we rode the Thameslink train down to Blackfriars without incident. But then we were lost.
I'd neglected to actually write down their address. Or phone number. We figured out how to call information (118 141, I think) by checking inside a phone booth, and called them up to find out how to walk, then called back to ask for just the address so we could take a taxi. (9 Norwich St., EC4; their number is 020 78316965.) It turns out Chancery Lane is the closest station, by the way.
The London Tun was packed. Downstairs, that is, where the fans were. Upstairs the pub was deserted. In fact, one Monday night regular came downstairs to find out what our group was all about... I saw many people I knew, many more I've met before but can't yet match names and faces, and others I've corresponded with or seen them online. Full list later but I wanted to say that flick's shiny is, in fact, very shiny. I also received a number of fanzines; I was deeply embarrassed that I'd forgotten A BEAR WENT OVER THE MOUNTAIN to give to those people who I'd like to give it to. Of course, if my server hadn't crashed, I'd have #3 out, and most of the people I got fanzines from had already received issue #1 or #2 or both, so maybe it wasn't that big a loss.
I now have (in no particular order) ANSIBLE, GIMMICKRY, META, PLOKTA WHO, and SHINY! SHINY!. GIMMICKRY has two gimmicks; the one I like is where she (Max) collects contributions with a 50-word limit. The part I don't like is where she drops them randomly oriented on the page -- straight, 90, 180, or 270 degrees rotated relative to one another. (And one or two 45 degrees off of that, even.) I think I'll have to send in something for her next ish, if she'll have me.
Oh, and I started building back up my photo collection of fans. I took 70+ photos there, and only a couple of people were fellow norteamericanos like myself. I saw Liz Batty, Tom Becker, John Birchby, Kate Bodley, Dirk Bontes, Tanya Brown, Randy Byers, Steven Cain, David Cake, Avedon Carol, Sharee Carton, Dave Clements, Pete Colman ("Dr. Pete"), Catherine Crockett, Tony Cullen, Rafe Culpin, Martin Dawe, Lise Eisenberg, MosheFeder, Cenk Gökçe, Rob Hansen, Jack Heneghan, Colin Hinz, Paul Hood, Tony Keen, Dave Lally, Dave Langford, Pat Lennon ("K'Rotch"), Richard Lewis, Karen McKenna, Geneva Melzack, Caroline Mullan, Robert Newman, Joseph Nicholas, Erik V. Olson, Spike Parsons, Ed Pourtahmasbi, Roger Robinson, Marcus Rowland, Kathy Sands, Alison Scott, Douglas Spencer, Bill Sutton, Damien Warman, Peter Wilkinson, Juliette Woods, Dop, Freddie, Granddad, Jim, Meike, Moz, Smitty, drplokta, fishlifter (both the long-haired one and the high-heeled one), flick, pnh, zarabee, and a few others that I didn't get names for. And Avedon's invited us to visit her; she had a party last weekend, and we didn't have her address or phone number to crash her party with. We now have her number. (Which is the same as the number for Feminists Against Censorship, I'm told.)
And I handed out pawprint stickers to mark my territory as I went. (Boo hoo: McGraw-Hill has discontinued the pawprint stickers. And I didn't find out until a year after they'd cut them off, so I couldn't buy out anyone's supply. I'll probably have to switch to a bear sticker, or something. So, I expect inter_action will be the last place I hand out pawprint stickers, unless a miracle happens.) We stayed for about two hours. By about 21:00 I couldn't handle the smoke anymore -- ye ghods, there was a lot of smoke down there -- and we made our way out, to Chancery Lane and home to bed.
I hope to find an Internet Cafe near our hotel in Glasgow! (The place here spells it Cafe; the software ["Antamedia"] they use to administer time spells it Caffe.) More later, we've got a train to catch.