Saturday, December 20, 2003

Nothing is certain except rain and taxis.

Today was a running-around-madly day, linked by taxis and rain. From my hotel to the streets of rainy London, getting wetter and wetter while I looked for a taxi that wasn't there, and then into a taxi to Bayswater for breakfast with my friends Matthew and Claudia. Talked movie stuff with Matthew, and then into another taxi and back to Seven Dials to meet a producer who has the rights to a book that Penn Jillette and I want to turn into a film one day, and then, tired of taxis and of being rained on, I darted down into the tube and travelled to Euston and on to Northampton, where I spent a wonderful afternoon and evening with Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie, and I'm not just saying that because if I stand next to Alan nobody notices that I really need a haircut. We talk, I see Amber Moore for the first time in many years (she's grown), we eat and talk more, setting the world to rights, then walk out of the restaurant, and it isn't raining, so confidently we step out into the open, at which point the skies open, the rain slashes down and the three of us sprint across suddenly slippery roads and make it to the only cab in Northampton.

Alan's plans to turn his terraced house into the palace of Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria continue apace, and he took me upstairs and showed me the cherub vortex on the wall. Alan is of the opinion that sooner or later all suburban houses will have cherub vortices, as soon as the rest of the human race catches up with him in fashion and interior design. I gave him a Jerry Springer The Opera CD as his Christmas present, which he accepted once he'd established that it did indeed have the "Talk to the Hand" song on it, and he gave me a limited edition "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" book, along with a Christmas Card (drawn by Alan). I will not give away the joke (some people reading this may be on Alan's Xmas card list) -- it was good, but my favourite of all Alan's cards is still one from about fifteen years ago, showing, in graphic detail, King Herod mascaraing the innocents.

All good things come to an end, and eventually I found myself back at Northampton station on my own being stared at by people who, because Alan was no longer standing next to me, were obviously convinced that I really really need a haircut.

Made it back to London and my hotel safely. Will be up at the crack of dawn to take a train to the West Country. There. That was my Saturday. Goodnight.