Teddy and Tom are good friends of mine, met originally through the filk community, who live about a mile's walk from the Wimbledon Station. Their home makes the perfect base of operations for me when I'm in London. Normally, I sleep in the upstairs guest room. This time, due to concerns about my foot, Teddy had set up the camp bed for me in the sewing room downstairs. Tom was home when I arrived. He let me in, showed me where to put my things, introduced me to their newest second-hand cat (Edward, who creaked like a rusty gate and deigned to allow pettings), and unleashed me on Wimbledon, where I promptly reacquainted myself with the important things, IE, where the grocery store was, and how to get to the station. Teddy came home that night, and there was ever so much hugging and joy. There was also an Extra American, Cynthia, who was staying a few days, and would be sleeping in my usual bed. A full house!
Speaking of beds: the front legs of the camp bed did not lock properly, and the bed dumped me on my head three times in the night. Good times!
The very next day was my publisher visit with Orbit UK and Corsair, who publish Mira and Seanan in the UK, respectively. We had a lovely lunch at an Italian place that was very tolerant of the loud table that wouldn't stop talking about spiders. And then it was time for my very first ever appearance at Forbidden Planet, the largest science fiction bookstore in the United Kingdom. So many books were signed! A wonderful man brought me cheese! Sarah and Hisham joined us for dinner! And we made plans to meet up with Anna and Emily on Saturday, for lunch and goodness.
(There is a cheese shop near Forbidden Planet. You'd best believe I went there and bought cheese. So much cheese.)
The next few days were pleasantly non-eventful. I spent time with Teddy, Tom, and Cynthia; we went to the grocery store and bought a leg of lamb; we bid Cynthia a fond farewell. (It turns out she lives in Berkeley and is the cousin of a good friend of mine who passed away a few years ago. I sent her home with my swimsuit and some yarn, as part of my constant curation of my suitcase.) On Saturday, Anna and Emily came, and we enjoyed a cheese party for lunch, followed by roast lamb for supper. We also went to the local Toys R Us, where I found the new Wydowna Spider doll. Bliss.
Sunday, Teddy and I went to a ball-jointed doll meet, followed by meeting my friends Ephemera and Fawn for rose lemonade at an adorable miniature cafe. We talked for a very long time, and it was lovely.
Monday I met up with my foreign sales agent for lunch and a chat.
Wednesday I flew to Germany, which will be covered in my next flashback. All told, a lovely visit to London, and I'm so glad to be going back next year.