Close Encounters

The first of our fixtures in what’s going to be a busy week finds us in De Beauvoir Town at former library and community centre, Open School East. We’re here for a seminar on Posthumanism and The Arts, in part because the speakers include one of Tom’s PhD supervisors, David Roden. A trickle of attendees turns into a flood and soon it’s standing room only for what proves to be a thoroughly enjoyable evening with fascinating presentations and lively debate. If you’d like to hear more about it you can listen to David Roden’s post on SoundCloud here.

Tom and I are probably the oldest people in the room, however there’s an interesting outbreak of #GrannyHair, both here, and on the streets of trendy East London, which makes me wonder why I bother hiding mine – except, of course, that the young women will still be young and I’ll look even more like a granny!
St Leonard's. Shoreditch

Thanks the non-appearance of trains on the London Overground, there’s plenty of opportunity to people-watch en route to Brick Lane where we have a curry before tackling the rest of our journey. Some of our encounters are closer than I would like; the woman who calls me a ‘horrible f*cker’ for declining to give her her bus fare, the busy train carriage where we sit opposite Mr and Mrs Shouty-Fighty and their snarling, farting dog, the ranty man at Wimbledon pacing the platform while fulminating into his phone and the man urinating in the street as we leave the station. Perhaps I’ve just lived in west Wales too long!

On Wednesday, Tom sets off to Milton Keynes to present the first of his PhD papers at the OU Music Department Research Day and I continue a busy round of catching up with friends and family before a full day in London on Thursday when I’ll be attending my final RNA committee meeting and the Romantic Novelists' Association Summer Party. But before that, on Wednesday evening, Rose and I have some rare ‘mum and daughter’ time at a local restaurant where we have a lovely time recommending books to each other and discussing plans for the future. 

I go to bed very happy, but wake up at two in the morning feeling very unhappy! My body feels as if it’s on fire, my head is spinning and my stomach is in considerable distress. The moment I have to ask Tom to fetch me a bucket, I know that no fairy godmother in the world is going to get this sick Cinderella to the RNA ball! Perhaps unsurprisingly words like ‘gutted’ and ‘bummer’ spring to mind at having come all this way to say thanks and farewell to my fellow RNA committee members only to fall at the final hurdle. The only consolation is that I seem to be getting over it quickly and now just feel tired rather than ill!

And finally…
Apologies to my regular readers and fellow bloggers for my absence – it’s just a very busy time!

Painting is Totem Gymraeg by Tom Tomos


It sounded like you were having a wonderful time Chris! I'm so sorry you came down with a stomach bug. I'm glad you're already on the mend. I'm sure you were missed at the party. Even though you missed the finale, the hard work you put in to making the event a success won't be missed!
Clare Chase said…
Fascinated to read about #grannyhair – I had no idea! Rotten luck about the stomach bug. These things do seem to strike with an unerring sense of timing. I’m glad you had a lovely time at the seminar and with your mum before you got struck down.
Frances said…
Gosh Chris, it does seem like you and Tom have been moving quickly through space and time!

I recognized St Leonards church, as I've walked past it several times on my way from Liverpool St Station to Barn the Spoon's tiny shop on Hackney Road. Small world, eh?

The Open School East link was very interesting. I had not heard of it before, and thank you for the intro. I do like Tom's totem painting very much.

Do you think that curry had anything to do with you sudden illness? Maybe so, maybe not. Maybe just all that moving through space and time.

We do see a bit of that dyed grey hair on 20 year olds over here. Usually there seems to be a hint of a lavender tint to it.

Sorry that you missed your meeting, but I'm glad that you're now feeling better. xo
Chris Stovell said…
I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar, Chanpreet.... the stomach bug not quite so much! Quite relieved too that my RNA committee work is done! x

Me niether, Clare - I wondered what it was all about! I did see that you didn't make the party either. I do hope all is well with you.x

We thought of you, Frances! You probably know that part of the world much better than us. The seminar was fascinating - I really enjoyed it and left with the feeling that I wanted to find out more, which is always good! I'm not sure where the bug came from, as you say, we were all over the place - I'm just glad it's now gone back to where it came from. Thanks for your kind comments and for visiting. Cx
Kathryn Freeman said…
Your descriptions are always so wonderful - love Mrs Shouty Fighty and the farting dog! You were greatly missed at the ball (so many people asking, where is Chris?) but I'm glad to hear you're on the mend. Look forward to seeing you at the next one :-)
The granny hair is new to me - unless all those grannies I see on my travels are really youngsters, in which case, I really should wear my specs more!
Another great post,Chris. It had me smiling and cringing in equal measure. Glad to hear you're almost better.x

p.s I love Totem Gymraeg by Tom Tomos
Irish Eyes said…
Love the Totem, Tom. Chris, you poor thing; hope you are truly recovered by now. Nothing worse than missing a special occasion because of a tummy bug. I am still holding my sides after reading about Mrs Shouty-Fighty and her dog, phew! I think the guy with the phone was at our local railway station last week...if not his twin certainly was. I remember St Leonards from years and years and..back. Have enjoyed reading this very much. Lovely for you to get to catch up with your daughter too. As we say here "You can't beat an aul natter". Was sitting out in my new thinking post in the garden yesterday and Wales was crystal clear on the horizon, huge wave went your way - and not a nautical one at that ;-)
Chris Stovell said…
They probably wanted to know where I was so they could keep out of my disastrous way, Kate! Hope to catch up soon!

Claire - I wondered what was going on until I did some research afterwards. Can't imagine going for a look that time will sort out anyway! And thank you. x

I.E. hello to you across our 'drop of water' (your expression still makes me smile every time). Thank you - I'm on my way to catch up with your blog too. So glad you didn't send a nautical wave, although it's blowing a hoolie at the moment! x

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