Usually when I post things about travel I do it in chronological order as it happened in real time. But there is nothing usual about the subject of today’s post, so I am throwing caution to the wind to tell you (out of order) about the wonderful time I had meeting a great group of UK-based bloggers.
Several months ago, when I knew we were headed to London for a short stay to visit friends, I asked if there was anyone out there in bloggo land who wanted to get together. To my relief there were several who replied in the positive. With a helpful assist from Miranda, arrangements were made and we had a truly lovely afternoon with a book browsing meet-up at Persephone followed by a walk to the British Museum for tea.
I arrived in central London about an hour and half early, and, despite having a whole city to look at, the excitement of my first trip to the Persephone bookshop got the best of me. I tried to slow myself down with a little lunch and some window shopping, but to no avail. I had to satisfy my curiosity about the Persephone shop.
Here it is on Lamb’s Conduit Street just a short walk from the Russell Square tube station.
Once I got inside I realized that showing up an hour early was exactly the right thing to do. Faced with all of those Peresephones, I suddenly forgot which ones I wanted to buy. And worse, I forgot which ones I already owned. Although the shop is tiny, it is also a bit of organized chaos, so it took me a while to get my bearings and get down to business. It was still a bit overwhelming trying to have a thoughtful browse to decide what I wanted to buy. In the end I had to look at the catalog to help me choose my Persephone bounty.
Once I started pulling aside books I wanted, it didn’t take me long to get a stack of nine that I wanted to buy. With that transaction complete I still had about thirty minutes to kill before the other bloggers arrived. So I went out for a bit of a stroll until the appointed time. When I returned to the shop Hannah had already arrived and greeted me as soon as I walked in. Once we introduced ourselves it all became a bit of a blur. As if on cue, the other bloggers started showing up at a steady pace and suddenly there were a lot of very talkative people in the small shop. There were a few customers trying to see the merchandise who must have been curious and a little annoyed about us taking up all that floor space. As Simon noted later, those customers would have been well served by turning to any one of us for assistance in choosing a book. Alas, they did not.
As conversations broke out all around the shop, I realized the moments were slipping away without me taking any photos. So I got a bit bossy and made them pose for me. Above you see Hayley, Polly, Simon, and Hannah.
I was sheepishly admitting to Claire that I had no interest in reading Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day because of the too frothy, too American film version, when I broke away from the conversation to snap this photo of Miranda and her mum Donna. Donna bought three books that day but I never did find out which ones she took home.
|(l to r) Claire, Hayley, Thomas, Simon, Hannah, Polly, and Miranda|
And here we all are (minus Donna who took the photo) posed out in front of the mothership. I might hold a contest later for the most creative answer to what Simon may have been distracted by.
Claire, who has already written about the great elevator fiasco on her blog,as seen through a forest of tea things. We each had one of these to ourselves. The dainties at top look pretty but my real interest was in the scones on the bottom tier.
I wish I had more time before I had to rush off to work to tell you more about all these great bloggers, Hayley and I bonded over dogs, Polly and I commiserated over shopper’s-block, Hannah, Donna, Miranda, and I talked about the pitfalls of having an online life, Claire and I talked about, well it seems like we talked about everything. Despite being across the table from each other at tea we managed to chat quite a bit. And then there is Simon. What can be said about Simon? Witty, clever, Simon. I would say he is just like his blog–which does a great job capturing his personality–but that doesn’t quite do him justice.
The only disappointment of the day was not having a enough time to chat with everyone. I will post soon about the 9 Persephones I bought that day.
For other takes on our Saturday at Persephone or for a look at each of their blogs here are the links: