Starfish and Coffee

My life is suddenly existing as contrasts. It didn’t really hit me until today, but I’ve gone from a serious amount of socialising over the past few days to suddenly being back in solitary mode, and I think my brain is still attempting to catch up. While the weather started out as pretty rotten on Monday, the rest of the week turned out to be very nice indeed, and it was an odd relief to be completely offline for four days – no internet, no e-mail, nothing. And one thing I did find myself doing wa staying in bed until around 9.30 – 10.00 ish in the morning, something I very, very rarely do. I think I needed it, and there was a pleasent amount of relaxing that I really think I was in need of. I was staying with my friend Dan from my days back in Media Production at University, and he lives out in Stanmore – it’s on the tube, and it’s technically Middlesex rather than London, but it really wasn’t too bad a journey.

Plus, it was lovely staying there, I was made very welcome, and it made the whole process of being in London much, much easier than the last time when I went through the hell of the London Film Festival. Inbetween meeting up with friends I was able to do fun stuff like going to the National Portrait Gallery and generally enjoy being in London, while a visit to the Notting Hill Book and Comic Exchange resulted in (thanks to a pile of books and comics I was able to sell on) picking up the fourth volume of Absolute Sandman for the sum total cash outlay of £5 (the rest was exchange vouchers). That’s the kind of result that leaves me with a big smile on my face, and the Arthur C. Clarke Awards were once again huge fun – loud, rambunctious and energetic (complete with an unexpected cameo appearence from William Hurt, of all people…) and a chance to catch up with a whole selection of new acquaintances I made at Eastercon. It’s those kind of moments where I can’t really avoid that I do have an effect on people – it’s amazing what singing “Hungry Like The Wolf” in front of a crowd of people can do for you, but the Clarkes were huge fun, as was the afternoon of meeting people in pubs which followed on the Thursday.

And now I’m back, a little frazzled by the exertions of those days, a little tired and a little prone to melancholy – but only I think because those days were so much fun. I’ve never felt the contrast between solitude and socialisation quite as strongly as this, but then my life is changing in a number of ways. It’s only to be expected that this kind of stuff feels different. But one thing I do know is that I want to do this kind of thing more regularly – right now, London isn’t too far away, and my circle of friends already feels bigger than it did a couple of months ago. And it’s a nice feeling. I may be spending a lot of time on my own. But I don’t think I’m actually alone. And despite the fact that there’s going to be plenty of times when being on my own might make me feel sad, and emphasise the things which my life sometimes lacks… I’m not going to let it drag me down. I’m going to learn to cope with it. And I’m going to be alright in the end.

Anyhow – can’t stay up too late. It’s Free Comic Book Day tomorrow, and I’m figuring that an “Early Bird catches the worm” strategy would be wisest. I’ll curl myself up with Absolute Sandman IV, and relax.

And yes, there’s going to be plenty from BlipFM on here. I like the idea of being able to throw intriguing, different and varied music out there for people to listen to. It’ll be a pretty regular feature. Hope you enjoy it…

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