Friday, December 16, 2005

A quick one from the NorthWest Lounge

Lots of travelling now almost over (I'm typing this in a Northwest lounge). I went to Cornwall for the day and then up before dawn and out from Gatwick. Got back to America, and then found myself stranded in the wrong city by a snowstorm, with a discharged cellphone and a week's accumulated jetlag, so I decided to see this as a positive thing rather than a negative thing, so I a) slept and slept and slept and b) went to see King Kong (which I liked the opening of, very much liked the end of, and just kept checking my watch in the middle of).

Are almost all your short stories meant to leave me feeling depressed at the end? It seems like none of them have a happy ending yet your novels do. Is this intentional?

Not in the sense that I go "Wow. A short story -- here's my opportunity to depress people." But I know what you mean -- the cumulative effect of the short stories isn't one of unalloyed joy and delight, and the characters who creep out into the short fiction tend to be slightly more hurt and damaged than the ones at novel length. Still, there are some funny and upbeat short stories.

Gatwick has done way with separate departure halls for domestic and international travellers.

Now as far as I know... international travellers arriving at Gatwick and connecting to another international destination do not have to go through UK customs and immigration and show their passports.

So they issue all domestic travellers with a barcode that when read near your departure gate brings up your photo so they can check you are still you.

The idea being that you can't give your boarding card to an international traveller not yet passed through customs... If you did he'd never have to show his passport etc. to get into the UK.


Second time through that made perfect sense. Or it would have done if anyone had actually checked anything, and if we hadn't just walked down a short stretch of corridor, with our photos taken at one end and the papers taken at the other. But maybe we could have theoretically mingled.

Neil said this in his blog:
"The last time I got real stage fright was in about 1992, when my friend Polly Sampson took me up onto the stage before a Pink Floyd concert, and I looked out over 70,000 mostly empty seats, imagined having to talk to that many people, and was utterly terrified."

Three things that are incorrect. It's Samson, not Sampson. If he's a friend of hers you'd think he'd spell her name right.
Two...Pink Floyd did not tour in 1992, nor did they play any shows in 1992, so how could he be on their stage at any time in 1992?
Three...Polly Samson was not associated with Pink Floyd at all in any way, personally or professionally, in 1992.

This misinformation needs to be removed.

There you go. That's what I get for relying on memory rather than going and checking things -- honestly, it's one of the things that makes this blog endearing. Yes, the correct Polly's name is of course Samson, the gig in question was sometime between 1992 when I moved to the US and 1996 when I was in London filming Neverwhere and went to David Gilmore's 50th birthday party. In addition to which, I just checked ( and the capacity of the Minneapolis Metrodome is no more than 63,000. Ah well. ENticing though the opportunity to go back and fix it is, I think for something like that, I'll keep it as it was for reasons of historical wossname, trusting that any Pink Floyd people who would find my making mistakes offensive will eventally find this post, and will be able to sleep once more.


A friend of mine told we you were going to do a signing in May 2006 at Millepages, a book store in Vincennes... I just wondered if you knew it.

D�lf, who was at the Fnac in Paris two years (that much ?) ago :)

First I've heard of it. I rather doubt I'll be in France in May 2006.