|In Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem (from left: Wayne Parkin, Penny Jones, Simon Jones, me, Ross Warren, Phil Sloman and James Everington)|
On Saturday, almost four years to the day since that first London gathering (see here), the Crusty Exterior rode again with a few new members as we met up in
Nottingham (ably organised by James). As well as the
original contingent (minus Steve), the ranks included Wayne Parkin, Richard Farren Barber, Ross Warren, Penny & Simon Jones and Jay Eales & Selina Lock. I decided to travel up by train and, by chance, found it was 40p cheaper to pick specific time trains and go First Class than it was to have an open return in Second Class. So I got to share a whole carriage with two other people, enjoyed the peace and quiet and the free tea and biscuits as well as getting plenty of reading done.
Nottingham, Penny &
Simon Jones (on the same train) waited on the platform for
me and I spotted the very tall Penny - and her striking blue hair -
immediately. After catching up, we went
through the barriers and met James in the concourse, hugs and hellos all round, before wandering up to a coffee shop to talk writing and conventions
and our plans for the day. We headed
back to the station to get Phil, more hugs and hellos, then walked across town
toYe Olde Trip To Jerusalem pub. Wayne Parkin was already at the bar waiting for us
and it was good to see him, it’s been far too long. As we caught up with him, Ross Warren
appeared - he hadn’t told anyone he was coming, so that was a great
surprise. We got drinks, headed upstairs
to the cursed galleon (it’s very dusty), commandeered a corner and talked
books, horror, Facebook, Top Trumps, a bit of politics and all manner of things. Richard Farren Barber arrived, fresh from a
holiday in New York
and sat next to me and we discussed commercial decisions and writing
crime/thriller novels while sticking with horror shorts and novellas (and he gave me a couple of books too, which is always nice). Once Jay Eales and Selina Lock joined us, we headed into town for lunch.
|Phil, taking great delight...|
|In the Salutation Inn|
Roll on the next one.