Monday, 4 August 2008

Norfolk is a nice place

Spent a long weekend in Norwich with A Ghostly Company, the ghost story society. Had a good time, if a rather damp one. On Sunday we visited Aldeburgh, which is a lovely place.

Some of us decided to walk to the Martello tower where poor Mr Paxton cops it in MR James' classic 'A Warning to the Curious'.

Some of us remarked, as we reached the very exposed location, how dramatic the sky was. Then we realised this display was an approaching rain storm, which soaked us all to the skin within minutes. Gosh, I was a squelchy fellow and no mistake. I found myself squeezing out my socks in the Gents of the White Lion, where Monty James stayed. As he was a hearty, outdoorsy type, perhaps he got soaked and had to wring his socks out too. Who knows? Some things are forever hidden from. 

I also returned from Norwich with some reasonably-priced paperbacks and a nice hefty copy of MRJ's Suffolk and Norfolk. I also have some fond memories of a nice bunch of people, who between them seem to share all my interests - ghostly tales, horror, sf, bits and bobs off odd historical knowledge, and indeed HG Wells. 

I can heartily recommend Norwich, and the Maid's Head Hotel, where we stayed. Big ups (as they say) to the lovely Katherne Haynes, assistant editor of ST and organiser of this shindig. She worked everything out brilliantly and devised a tough-but-fair MR James quiz. I came second and won some spiffing Notre Dame gargoyl fridge magnets. I was trouced, however, by the magisterial figure of Roger Johnson. 

Oh, and Colin Penn had a surprise for us on our first night, when we gathered for a meal. He gifted us all with our own ghosts, of the trouser-dwelling key ring variety! So now I have two tiny, screaming, glowing ghosts. Perhaps I'll start a collection, and set up some kind of orchestra.

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