Monday, October 29, 2007

". . .As Nothing Compared To Our Love Of London"

Returned only slightly hung over. Did all those things an author is supposed to do (I was flogging this book) and enjoyed myself immensely because of the company I had the good fortune to be keeping. The book launch at Daunt's was packed with comrades and the sweetest kinds of people, not least of whom were David Hirsch and the crew from Engage, and David T from Harry's Place who gave excellently of himself in a rendition of the first bits of A Blacksmith Courted Me outside a pub on Holland's Park Avenue when we stepped out for a smoke. That'll teach me to try and show off.


An encounter with Oscar, his mum Anne Marie, and his dad Nick Cohen at their lair in Islington and our session at the Compton Arms.

The interview with Neil Denny and Tom Hamilton of Little Atoms, at Resonance FM (downloadable here; the BBC Excess Baggage interview is here; I was on the beeb with a couple of brilliant cartographers and the writer Mike Unwin). The Little Atoms show was the day the London Times reported this. Coincidence er wha. The pub session afterwards, at this wonderfully antique boozer, was a blast.

I finally got to meet Padraig Reidy, a brilliant fella from the Index On Censorship; also Paul Evans, who trusts hippies even less than I do; and Francis Sedgemore, a Morris-dancing science journalist who has forgotten more about nanotechnology than I have ever known. The Atoms' Neil Denny and Tom Hamilton hosted (did I buy a single drink for anyone all night? I am a disgrace) and others were along, such as the documentary filmmaker Simon Ardizzone, he of the Emmy-nominated Hacking Democracy, about which you'll be hearing more from me at some point soon.

And of course the reubenesque and astonishing Peter Ryley, who came all the way down from Hull for the craic, and noticed the absence of the general, to whom we raised a glass and to whose enemies we wished confusion (the same general who gathered Francis, Paul, Peter and me here). Peter and I roved off into the night looking for some sort of kebabs, found some down the Edgeware Road, and wandered back to Paddington, discussing the affairs of the world. Ryley's got a book or two in him at the moment, one being about eccentric 19th century British anarchists or something. And you watch. He's already a brilliant writer and I'm betting that if he manages the time for a book he'll prove the better writer of us all. Mark that.

Ryley reviewed The Lost and Left Behind here. The Financial Times' Alan Cane reviewed the book here.

So there we have it. Thanks for the gracious hospitality shown me by Kathy Willis and Shonil Bhagwat down at Oxford, and to the faculty and students down at Brighton and up in Essex. Kew was as lovely as the company I kept there. To those I should have mentioned, do forgive. I'm a bit lagged.

After I got home today I managed to stay awake and alert enough to spend a half hour live on air occupé dans la critique des stoppistes on Rob Breakenridge's Calgary radio program The World Tonight on CHQR AM770, which I believe you can download from the station's website if you can be arsed. I see the home front was guarded well.

I can't bear to think of all the emails I've yet to answer and I have another radio interview tomorrow morning. Can't remember who with, but I'm sure they'll tell me when they call.

Off to bed wi' me.


Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

The Torch stands on guard for thee--at least Babbling Brooks!


12:58 PM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

I goofed badly--the post was by Paul Synnott.


2:19 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home