Part Four -- A Mad Whirl
From Sarah's Travel Journal:
So, here I am on the train again, heading, I hope, for Bath. It's been the first of the 3 PA (Professional Author) days and overall, it's gone pretty well.
My travel alarm did it's job, and woke me with time to pack. Lots of stuff was still wet, but I wrapped it all in my waterproof pants and am hoping it'll be okay. Went down to solid English breakfast -- eggs, bacon, tomato, toast and cereal -- with the nice Aussie couple I'd made friends with. They'd been to St. Necton's well while I was stomping around the moor, and highly recommended it for beauty and atmosphere.
The lady from the Cornish Guardian turned up and the interview was brief, but I think it went well. The photographer was a local guy and a bit late, but ut turned out it was good he was local.
See, the rain had stopped, but the fog had come in, so taking picturs outside wasn't happening. But this guy had arranged for us to do the shoot at King Arthur's Halls. To explain: This is the major tourist trap in Tintagel. It was built by a custard millionare in the 1930s and is apparently now a major Freemason's hall. It's got no one, but two round tables, one wood, one stone, a great hall, a presentation hall, more throunes than you really need and a whole bunch of stained glass windows depicting various scenes from the legend, and some with inspirational mottos, including, disturbingly: "What makes men great is not their freedom, but their obedience." Oh, those wacky Masons.
Anyway. We got several shots of me by the stone round table and a couple more on the main throne and unfortunately, it all took a little longer than anticipated. So, by the time I got back to the B&B, settled up and loaded myself into the car, I was running later than I hoped. Oh, great. I was now going to have to drive through Cornwall, on these narrow roads, at speed. In the fog.
With a heart filled with trepedation, I set out.
Fortunately,somewhwere in here, I seemed to have settled into driving on the left and was able to go pretty near the speed limit. Also fortunately, with the help of Sandy & Vic, my hosts at the B&B, I'd found a _way_ simpler route out to Bodmin than the one I'd taken in. Good fortune continued, in that the fog lifted almost immediately after I left Tintagel. All this good fortune combined mean I was only extremely late to meet Keith, HarperCollins UK's Cornwall Rep, instead of insanely late.
I most willingly surrendered the keys to the car hire lady and happily let Keith do the driving as we proceeded to criss-cross Cornwall. Okay, maybe it was more of a back-and-forth. Anyway. First, we went out to a wholesaler's warehouse in Launceston and I had to quash some heavy urges to shoplift in the stacks and shelves and boxes of books. I signed their stock. Then, we went down to Truro where I signed stock at a store called Ottakers, which apparently is the big chain in Cornwall, and where, when I expressed intent to buy, GAVE me a copy of Terry Prachett's latest. Go, Ottakers!
After that, we got a quick pub lunch and then it was over to BBC4 Cornwallfor a live interview.
Thank God for panelling. I can talk to anybody about anything at a moment's notice. I think it went well. I never remember what I've said after one of these, unless I've made a real gaff and then I can't forget. I don't remember what I said during this, so, it probably went okay. They gave away a copy of the new book and everything.
Then, Keith dropped me off at the station and here I am winging my way towards Bath on the Great Western Railway. At least, I hope I'm headed for Bath. I've got a change yet to make.