On Beyond London, part 2

Well not just beyond, but in it too. Because, although Martyn’s house in Pantywaist Upon Snufflebottom seemed like it was a million miles from the Big Smoke, it was really only a short hop on the train.

As anybody who reads this blog knows I’m a little (well, okay, a lot) obsessed with the film NIGHT AND THE CITY. One of the things I wanted to do was visit some of the London locations where that film was shot.

Many of the places were swarming with tourists and barely recognizable, but Goodwin’s Court, the alley that stood in for the exterior of the Silver Fox night club, is pretty much unchanged. I almost expected to run into Molly selling her wilted flowers.

And, by some strange coincidence, actress Googie Withers, who played Helen Nosseross, the ruthless proprietress of the Silver Fox, died the day after I arrived in England. RIP Googie.

After a leisurely wander through the streets of Soho, we eventually hooked up with Mark Billingham and a merry band of British writers and troublemakers for some spicy chicken at Nando’s. Still not entirely sure what the deal is with Mark and Nando’s. Sexual fetish? Paid spokesperson? Major stockholder? Anyway the sauce was hot and the conversation saucy. After we were all stuffed, we adjourned to a nearby bar where I’d made plans to meet my old friend Michael Marshall Smith and his wife Paula.

It had been ages, something like 10 years, since I’d seen them, and one night was barely enough to catch up, but it was fantastic to see them both again. I like to think that I may have talked MMS into getting back into the Twitter stream (…joooooooooin us…) but we’ll see. That boy gives good tweet!

Meanwhile, selfish bitch that I am, I nearly killed my dear husband Martyn by running him around all day and night. He’d picked up some kind of virus, or food poisoning, or intentional poisoning (don’t look at me!) the night before and was dragging ass like a half-drowned rat. Still game as fuck, though. He wouldn’t let me carry him, although I offered repeatedly.

Anyway it was so worth it for me to have the chance to geek out on those locations, to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. I owe that cupboard monkey, bigtime!

Next, occult adventures in Black Park…

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