I arrived in London at 8.40 and thought about walking from the station to the hotel. It didn't look far (just two stops on the tube) but the guy I asked for directions at the station must've been the only person working in London who knew less about the place than me. Anyway, I didn't fancy wandering round with my laptop looking like a tourist. I got the tube.
The hotel was right next to the station. My room was tiny but all I needed for a single night on my own and again there was free wifi. I wrote the skeleton of a short story before bed.
Paige arrived in London extremely early the next morning, apparently suffering the effects of a mere 2 hours' sleep on an overnight coach from Scotland but looking fantastic for it. We'd met up by 8.45am, thanks in part to the rude people in the room next door who decided that 7am was just the time they wanted to start playing loud music. By the time I'd called down to reception to complain, I was wide awake and far too excited to go back to sleep.
We then met Sarah *G* off her train. While we were waiting we heard the Inspector Sands code that I first heard about when reading Tom Reynold's book. Strange to hear it.
We then made our way to Waterstones, wandering round each floor of the bookshop on the way up, moving various people's books to be more noticeable and giving me the chance to spend money I shouldn't really spend. Hmm.
Then - it was time. We made our way to the meet, and it was fab. It was amazing to meet all these people who I've spent time talking to over the wonders of the internet. And noone looked blank when I introduced myself. Jen even knew it was me before I could get round to telling her. Aw.
It was such a buzz to meet up with everyone. I am grinning like a loon on all the photos and I couldn't stop laughing. I can't wait for the next one.
I wish I could've stayed another night. I considered it, but I needed a day to myself. As it happens, I made my train with only three minutes to spare (I thought it was 6.22; it was 6.19 so I was cutting it finer than I realised!) so I'm glad I left when I did.
The journey home wasn't as good as the day before. The seats had been double sold and the labels were on the wrong seats, so it was a faff to find a seat. I got one, though, and devoured Lucy's book on the train to York; she'd signed it for me at the meet and I loved it.
Unfortunately, York Races had been on. People were smoking on the station and the train, when it arrived, was packed. I thought about trying to find my seat for about three seconds before giving up on that idea and falling into an empty seat next to a guy from Darlington who I chatted to for a while.
I called D on the way home to ask him to make me a couple of pitta pizzas. I hadn't had any tea and was hungry. He told me he'd just started grating the cheese for them. He is a mind reader.
I can't wait for the next meet.
(PS - I'm trying to get round all the blogs for the people I met, and the rest of the novel racers too. I haven't quite finished yet so if I haven't said hi yet, I'll be there soon.)