You know, two weeks ago I couldn’t stand up for more than ten minutes.
Yesterday I was on my feet for TEN WHOLE HOURS.
I can’t believe how much the surgery has affected my life. I actually have a life now!
I celebrated my return to the World of the Walking by spending last night in a frightfully posh hotel chatting to lots of frightfully interesting people, and it was all thanks to Neil Gaiman, who was kind enough to invite me to his birthday bash. I’d planned to have a day out in London with my friend Gillen – culminating in a cup of tea in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral, my second favourite place in the capital after the Natural History Museum (how I’ve missed them both!) – but we saved our energies for the party instead.
The conversation (and champagne) flowed. I finally got to meet author Geoff Ryman (who was a scream); comedian Mitch Benn sang a very amusing song (before the hotel told him he was keeping their guests awake and stifled his guitar) and Neil spent the whole night smiling and introducing people and being quite possibly the best party host ever.
My favourite part of the night was chatting to actress Joanna Scanlon in the ladies’ loo and discussing her role as one of the witches in Stardust. I thought, seeing as many of her scenes were performed with Michelle Pfeiffer, that she’d talk about her, but instead she told me how working with a baboon was rather scary because baboons are nasty little buggers who think they’re far superior to every human on the planet. As far as “ladies loos” conversations go, I don’t think I’ve ever had a stranger one.
The taxi driver who drove me home from the hotel in the wee small hours was curious to know whose party I’d just attended. I pointed at a poster of Stardust on the side of a passing bus and said, “The guy who wrote that film.” And then pointed to a billboard on the opposite side of the road which displayed a huge Beowulf poster and said, “Oh, and that film, too.”
Impressed, the driver then asked a lots of questions about how much you get paid for writing a movie – a subject I know nothing about – and seemed annoyed that I couldn’t tell him, so I changed the subject by pointing at Buckingham Palace and asking him if he thought it smelt of old ladies and corgi dogs. For the next ten minutes he let me know, in no uncertain terms, that Her Majesty wouldn’t stand for any smells in her home and that she’d use air fresheners. I was very happy when he dropped me off…
And blimey, my poor feet ached. I haven’t stood for so long since January. Loved every goddamn minute though. Thanks, Neil!