Sunday, March 23, 2008

Holly and corridors

My daughter Holly is here. She has been persuaded to take her coat off. She says she needs to be mentioned more in this blog. She says that I ruin the whole effect, however, if I actually point out that she just said that I should devote the spotlight to her here. She says she didn't actually say that and that my innocent paraphrase is in fact all hellish lies.

Holly would like to say something.

Maddy Gaiman has the best sister ever. Happy Easter, Maddy.

(Me: That's it? Her: Yup.)

So far today I've been interviewed by the French, done a Kaffeklatch (where 8 people who had their names drawn from a hat had coffee with me, although I drank tea) a Guest of Honour Reading and Talk, and another interview. Still to come today, a Wolves in the Walls reading for kids (and adults who have kidnapped kids and are using them as props to get in with) and another autographing. And an interview with Romanians.


I was interested in your throwaway remark on navigating the London Hotel. "It's a terrific convention (in a hotel the geography of which I cannot quite grasp)"

My wife and I spent our Silver Wedding anniversary in Vienna, and despite my reading up beforehand, I felt ill at ease using the underground trains as I couldn't get my bearings and felt terribly edgy for the first day and a half.

Once we walked around the inner ring of Vienna I had my bearings and was able to feel psychologically much better. Weird huh?

Have you read "The Art of Travel" by Alain de Botton? His practical philosophy is so interesting and makes me realise I'm not alone in feeling edgy on arrival at a new place - not for fear of attack - but insecure in the geography.

Truth to tell, I quite like new places, and don't really mind unfamiliar geographies. This hotel, on the other hand is something else.

I am used to sensible, Euclidean spaces, in which if you go through enough 90 degree angles you wind up where you started. Try that here and see where it gets you. It reminds me enough of the description of the unlikely convention hotel in Diana Wynne Jones's DEEP SECRET that I have to ask her if it was based on this hotel.

From the outside it seems almost normal. Then the corridors begin...

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