WALKING IN LONDON: I went back to the Poetry Cafe last night for the launch party of two chapbooks (or pamphlets as they called them) from Tall Lighthouse Press by Kim Lasky and Cathy Ryan. The room was full and there were some great guest poets reading, including Aoife Mannix (who was brilliant!), Helen Sandler, Janice Fixter and Peter Abbs. It was interesting to see a slice of the London poetry community at work the last couple of nights. I was most excited to meet up with friend and fellow poet Agnes Meadows, who I've featured with the last two years at the Austin Poetry Festival. We had a lovely chat about the state of poetry over a glass of wine with her friend Fiona after the reading.

I lingered late and went I got on the tube at Covent Garden there were all kinds of alerts about slow service and something about someone taking ill and that service was disrupted. The train made it to Holborn and then it was annouced that service on the entire east Piccadilly line was suspended. I've ridden the tube countless times on my visits here, but this was my first line suspension and able to witness the chaos it causes. There was a mass exodus out of the station and not a taxi to be had.

After getting directions from an Underground guard, I started hiking up Southampton Row. Since I'm not nearly as fit as I should be (okay...not fit at all), I wondered if I would make the hike. I'm guessing it was over a mile (felt like two or three) back to the hotel, but somehow I managed it. It was a clear, chilly evening and I got to see some sites along the way.

I slept in this morning to congratulate myself. Now I'm off to visit friends in south London. More soon.


M. Ru Pere said…
love the dispatches - keep 'em coming - I had a deal at Holbern station too - the train PA said there was a bomb alert and for the people in the last 3 cars to get off and move up - which is what happened, and very calmly too I might add . . . but a total suspension - whoa, sounds frightful ;)
Collin said…
Hey Rupert...glad you're enjoying them. I'll have another dispatch tomorrow. Spent the afternoon in Camberwell, south London. Much to report, including a long bus ride back. Yes...I did say bus.
Anonymous said…
Ahh welcome to the chaos that most Londoners have to put up with at least once a month or more on the tubes or the trains. It's a common occurance unfortunatly.

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