I’m not sure what my image of the average Citizen’s Advice Bureau was- and I’m still not sure, as, despite a lot of effort and running around London in the early morning, I managed to miss out on access to two seperate Bureaus. The ‘opening time’ might be listed as ten o’clock, but it turns out that people tend to queue from about seven o’clock and- rather annoyingly- it’s usually only the first twenty who get in for the entire day, because the Bureaus are so undermanned. I tried the one at Turnpike Lane on Thursday, got there at 8.50, was 28th in line, and was told at 9.20 that there was no point in hanging around. I therefore had another go at the Tottenham Bureau on Friday morning, and made a concerted effort to get there early– to no avail. I reached the place at 8.00 am, only to find a big crowd of people, and someone announcing that only the first sixteen were going to get in. So, I still haven’t actually found out anything concrete about what exactly we can do relating to the situation with our house. I think it’s the amount of time left that makes it particularly difficult- that, essentially, we’re talking about nine months of our lives here, which is not a small amount of time to be going through this kind of unpleasentness. I am, at least, looking forward to explaining this situation to somebody else, so I’ll know that it isn’t just us looking at it from the wrong angle. Finding out whether or not there’s anything we can do will definitely help, even if it’s not fantastic news.
I also got some fantastically useful feedback from Neal Asher yesterday relating to the novel. What I got was the first sixty or so pages absolutely covered in a welter of corrections and notes, almost every single one of which was truly fantastic, and some of which made me laugh. One particular- to explain, there’s a sci-fi fan newsletter called Ansible produced by writer Dave Langford, and one part of it is called ‘Thog’s Masterclass’, dealing specifically with examples of bad writing. It’s usually divided into ‘departments’, and one of the most regular ones is the ‘Dept. of Eyeballs in the Sky’, which deals with people’s eyes doing apparently impossible things. With the line ‘Her eyes shot upwards to his face’, I managed something pretty damn close, and feel strangely proud (even though I’m definitely getting rid of the thing). It’s rather annoying, as a result, that I’m bogged down with work on the Del Toro interview and a collection of reviews, as all I really want to do is get to work making the book into what it needs to be.