Britain's first book blogger (November 2000)

Friday, April 20, 2007

London Book Fair

Took Tuesday off work to visit the London Book Fair. Had no idea what to expect but was looking forward to lots of books. I remembered that the last time I had been to Earl's Court was as a teenager to see Pink Floyd perform The Wall.

The train from the south coast was scheduled to take 50 minutes, so I planned my journey to allow plenty of time to explore before lunch. But, somewhere between stations in Surrey, the train stopped. An unspecified delay was announced due to an unspecified incident ahead at Purley. I sat there gazing through my limited window space at a red jeep parked on a bend on a suburban road. Nothing moved. Then a car drove around the jeep and the bend. Then it was still again. We stayed there for half an hour. To muted cheers, the train trundled on a few hundred yards and then, to muted misery, stopped again. I had a different view. Trees, bushes, a fence, some abandoned railway equipment. After another ten minutes or so it trundled another few hundred yards and gave me a newly different view. This happened several times. I wondered if we would ever get to London. The hope was that once the train reached Purley, there would be a clear run to Victoria. This hope was realised. As the train rolled through Purley station, I saw on the platform men in reflective clothing zipping up a long white bag.

We reached London after two hours and 10 minutes. The Fair was awful.

2 comments:

  1. Steve - just out of interest, what were you expecting?

    Most people have a fairly making-sausages reaction to the whole thing...

    James

    ReplyDelete
  2. As I said on the second line, I didn't know what to expect. But I remember seeing a snap of Mark Sarvas' luggage when he visited BEA in NYC and assumed there'd be book promotion going on rather than people sitting around having meetings.

    ReplyDelete

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