Last stand in Lewes
Various bits of admin and preparing for the meeting with Robin this afternoon. Otherwise the US election seems in the balance, with the Blue Wave not really happening. The fact is that there are millions of Americans happy to vote for this maniac.
Beth came around in the afternoon after working at L's school for a bath and to visit for the last time before lockdown 2. Had toasties and a chat... She and James are planning to move in together for the new year.
Jumped on a train for the 14 mins ride to Lewes. The train very sparsely populated and the windows open. Watched with something like admiration as a bloke of about 50 who got on just after me, and sat a couple of rows away, had a big bag of beers and chugged two of them by the time we arrived at Lewes.
Met Robin outside the station, and we walked to two pubs, and sat in a pub garden but the ambient noise was too great, and then we sat on a big upstairs terrace of a pub called The Rights of Man. We were the only people there for most of our time, apart from a masked barmaid who brought us our drinks and packets of crisps. We recorded some poetry banter, had quite a bit to discuss about the podcast (given that this is only the second time we've been face to face since we started it). Eventually we simply got too cold, as the sun set, despite being wrapped up in coats, and it was time to go home. Nice to see Robin, and to go to Lewes was an adventure in itself, having barely been there this year.
Also felt a bit rebellious, given that the pubs are having to close again, to be one of the bitter enders. Before the last lockdown, I looked at them and pitied the poor fools drinking till the end. Now I was one of them, albeit in the open air away from anyone except La Houghton.
Appropriately stand offish cheerios to Robin and we went our separate ways at the station. On my platform I checked my phone, and saw that David at Supernatural Tales had accepted my story The Grieving for publication next year. Pretty chuffed about this.
Home to chicken wings in the remaining half of the woof woof sauce that Anton had given us. After these polished off, Betty noticed the best before date was long in the past, but we seem to have survived. Lovely.
I then zoomed upstairs to a zoom poetry reading by Tess Jolly, launching her new book. I have always liked Tess's work and am chuffed for her. The Gannster was doing a cheeky support reading too, and another poet who was also rather good called Karen Smith. As a muted guest, I viewed everyone attending, and I knew several in the audience, including Sarah and Antony Mair. After the reading was over I lurked (virtually) with a few of the audience and the poets for a virtual drink and chat. Enjoyed this, and was given a chance to mention the podcast too. Bob from Blue Diode Press, who are up in Leith in Edinburgh, where we stayed when we were doing A Glass of Nothing. Really nice bloke.
Then to talked to Lorraine, and we simply drifted off to an early bed.