You’ll probably have spotted the trend that very, very little happens on Sundays so I’ll skip straight to Saturday.
Saturday morning was an early one, despite the late arrival the previous night, because Penny and I were off to see Neil Gaiman’s signing at Forbidden Planet in London. We were queuing from 9:30, the doors opened at 10:00 and we were finished by 11:00. It was really hard deciding what to take to get signed as we’d been told we were allowed three books and it was unclear whether or not we had to buy a book when we get there.
I was really gutted when we got there and discovered that not only did we not have to buy a book, but we were actually allowed six! I’d brought a spare and bought one book on site (couldn’t resist). So the books I managed to get signed were ‘Anansi Boys’ (his newest), ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ (an excellent book of short stories), ‘Good Omens’, ‘Coraline’ and the MirrorMask screenplay. If I’d have known how it was going to work I’d have brought ‘Signal to Noise’, ‘Midnight Days’, ‘Sandman’ or ‘American Gods’ (which I couldn’t find on Saturday morning). Penny brought her much-loved copy of ‘The Wolves in the Walls’, which is illustrated by Dave McKean.
Neil himself was very friendly and affable and much amused by the fact that Lenny Henry had accused him of smoking giant reefers with Dave McKean when writing MirrorMask. He also revealed that a new anthology of short stories is due soon, assuming he’s got enough material. I presume it will be published sometime after his next work, a children’s book.
All that done, we did some exploring (Hamley’s and Liberty’s) before ending up in Vinopolis in the afternoon. Situated under London Bridge, around the corner from the London Dungeon, the Vinopolis is a wine museum and wine tasting experience. It was definitely worth visiting, though it would have been prohibitively expensive had it not been for the two for one deal we had. As it was, we decided to go for some whiskey tasting too. Some of the wines we tried were average at best, but we also discovered some absolute gems like a 2003 Israeli Riesling/Chenin blanc, a Californian Muscat and the Crofts Triple Crown port. Among the whiskey tastings we particularly liked the smoky flavour of the Talisker.
After that, it was Pizza Express for dinner, a train home and a much-deserved 10 hour coma.
Quite a day!