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Laurabelle in London: Report

From: Jen Birren <>
Subject: Re: [F] Seeing Stuff Meet, London, 23 March
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 12:15:54 +0000
Message-ID: <>
References: <> <gRpk8.252$>
<> <f_qk8.253$> <MPG.16fc860637664bc9989680@>

This is not a meetreport. OTOH, we forgot to blackmail^H^Hask anyone to
do an official Report, so this is in lieu of one. 
Present, in order of turning up AFAIR: 
Jen Birren
Richard Bos
Mary Messall
Eric Jarvis
Simon Callan
Sarah H
Barry V
(and my boyfriend Andrew, who came to the pub)
Megamole phoned in, despite having horrible flu.

It was not raining, so we met outside the tube station, mainly by the
process of wandering up to the nearest bunch of people who looked
strange enough to be afpish. The decision to be made was whether to walk
round Westminster or go to the British Museum. So we went to have a look
at the Temple Church. 
We didn't get lost until we were almost there- it wasn't my fault that
the door that leads in from the Strand was shut and we had to go the
long way round, surely? But there were people with the rare skills of
being able to read "You-Are-Here" maps so we found our way between the
lawyers' offices to the beautiful, 12th century, scaffolding-covered
church. It was open until 3.30 and the time was 3.25- we poked our noses
in briefly and worried the wedding guests. As we found our way back to
Charing Cross to meet Barry and Sarah, we saw several people in posh
hats (and, in one case, tartan trousers) who were looking lost because
the door from the Strand that normally leads to the Temple was shut...

A definite request for somewhere to sit down was expressed, and the
nearest place to Charing Cross with comfy seats is probably a really
expensive restaurant, but the National Gallery is right in Trafalgar
Square. So we piled in, and got a few seats in the anteroomy bit with
leather sofas. Some more spaces became free fairly soon- maybe the stern
lady occupying one of them didn't like hearing about 101 Things To Do To
A Corpse. (You know that exhibition of plasticised dead people that's
just opened? Is that gross, or educational, or both?) We stayed there
chatting for a couple of hours, quietly, so as not to wake Laurabelle.
It was slightly strange having somebody come up every so often and peer
fixedly at the picture just over our heads, particularly since it wasn't
a very exciting picture. 

We went for a meal fairly early, what with it being Saturday and there
being 10 of us. On our way to Chinatown, a very, very strange thing
happened. There were all these afpers walking right past a science
fiction bookshop, right, [1] and they *didn't go in*! Maybe there were
sunspots. Having succeeded in not spending all our money on books, we
could afford to eat, so we squeezed round a table at a Chinese
restaurant recommended by Eric and waved chopsticks at a very nice meal.
(Mmm, seaweed.) We went to a patisserie for coffee, and then Laura,
Kevin and Simon sadly had to leave. The rest of us went on a Quest for a
pub- there aren't as many on the Tottenham Court Road as there used to
be, apparently. But we found one with a table and talked till closing
time. The Dutch liquorice came out, as did the chocolate-coated
cranberries that Laurabelle brought over from America specially, which
were very nice. There was a stuffed red and black frog, but no geektoys
(unless a CD walkman counts).

This is long on what we did and short on what we talked about. This is
because a lot of it was "you had to be there" sort of stuff, but mostly
because I have a bad memory for conversations. There was a lot of
laughing, and only one discussion about the nature of [G|g]od. There may
be photos on websites in due course, but not from me (no digital camera.
Or website.)
I was nervous about the meet. Having met people, I am now Very Afraid of
the next one. But there will be a next one. This is fun.

[1] Murder One/New Worlds, on Charing Cross Rd

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