Heading north

Posting has been spotty along with connections, first with a working class hotel conveniently near the library in Gateshead where I had an event, and then out in the moors, and finally in a nice well-connected Radisson hotel in Edinburgh where I had next to no time to write or post. And then to Orkney, which has proved similarly aloof in its involvement with the electronic world. I’ll post catching up on things, so just ignore the reality of where I am, okay? (Not sure myself, frankly…)


After Bristol I set off to cross southern England, in which London sits like a black hole containing a tenth of the population. It sucks in all the roads, all the trains, all attempts at skirting it—the driver can either wrestle her way across the B and C roads in a direct line, or just give in and head for London, then whirl along the Orbital, the M25 (“Orbital” to distinguish it from the older, smaller, closer-in “ring road”) for a time, then head straight away from London on the spoke of the wheel connecting with where you intend to go.


Because I didn’t have all the time in the world, the latter was what I did. M3 straight at London, then onto the M25 for roughly ninety degrees of its circle, and then a dead halt. We sat. The oncoming lanes were completely empty. This was not a good sign.


But eventually we started trickling forward, although there was no one on the other side of the barrier. After a couple miles and nearly an hour, many whirling lights began to be seen in the distance, and eventually two cars that looked as if they’d been thrown there from the next county, one of them upside down and gently smoking.


I’d guess traffic was stopped nearly to Kent by the time they cleared it. And I KNOW everyone on that patch of road drove more cautiously for a while.


In Cambridge I stayed with a writer friend, Michelle Spring. Michelle has gone through a rough patch and hasn’t published for a while, but she’s doing well now and is writing what sounds like a killer book, to which I very much look forward. We had a nice chat and then walked through a beautiful, sun-drenched Cambridge to Heffer’s books, where I had an event with Jane Finnes (it was supposed to have Ruth Dudley Edwards as well, but Ruth had to be off in Dublin to cover a court case.) It was a good event, many thoughtful and educated questions, and I was also pleased to see a couple of old friends of my husband’s whom I hadn’t seen in ages—only sorry I didn’t have time to go home with them for a visit. But Michelle and I ate a great dinner—out of doors, yet—at Brown’s, and the following morning she and I both took off early, in opposite directions.


I headed, like Sherlock Holmes may in The Language of Bees, out onto the Yorkshire Moors. Actually, I’m not sure he will, since the site I had thought was there (following the assurances of a guide book) didn’t seem to be. As in, the people in the Moorland center had never heard of it.Â



 Back to the drawing board.

(Oh, and the video camera thing? It’s nothing professional, just web stuff we’re putting together to go with the next site renovation. More on it later.)

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  1. LaideeMarjorie on June 15, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    “…she’s doing well now and is writing what sounds like a killer book…”


    Pun intended? Or unintended? LOL. Mystery writer writes killer book!

    I am very happy that, except for one rubberbanding traffic snafu, you have been traveling well hither and yon.

    I do hope that the Yorkshire moors make it into Holmes’ travels. I was there in 2003 making my pilgrimage to the Bronte Parsonage and I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the place.


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