Thursday, 18 November 2010

lasa report, toronto memories, invisible weeks, initiate

Last weekend I wrote the report on my trip to Canada that is a requirement of the funding. Writing this brought back happy memories of the conference and the city. I'm now posting what are my very last pictures!

I was bowled over by the size of everything in Toronto, whether it was a 'street' like Spadina or my hotel room which was as large as the ground floor of our house. I loved the weird thing in Toronto airport that involved jets of water powering plastic cubes round a glass tank.

But my favourite memory of my last hours in Canada was a fleeting one and there was no time for pictures. I was on the bus from Bloore to Pearson, which was crammed full with people heading for work--at five-thirty on Sunday morning. I dozed for a while and when I woke up we were stopped at some traffic lights and there it was. A sign: Resurrection Road. I wanted to live on a street called that! Number 3, obviously. Frank Egerton, 3 Resurrection Road...

One final memory, though, was waiting for the bus outside the Holiday Inn. This taxi passed then circled back then round again and drew up. The driver asked me if I wanted him to take me to the airport. I asked how much. $60. I said no, he offered $50 then asked me if I knew what the bus fair was. I didn't so he came down to $40. I was tempted but still said no. He drove off. Well, when the bus came the fare was $3.50.

Over the last few weeks I've been doing a lot of teaching and one or two Invisible promotional things. Most fun of all was my talk to Writers in Oxford about digital publishing at the Victoria Arms, Marston. The event was really lovely. It was great to see old friends and the pub has a terrific atmosphere, not to mention excellent beer and food. I did a talk, PowerPoint presentation and reading from Invisible.

To start with, though, it looked like the PowerPoint wasn't going to happen. There was a fancy laptop projector but no screen... Fortunately the pub came to the rescue with a tablecloth.

Tonight I'm off to Blackwell's for the launch of Initiate, the anthology of work by last year's MSt graduates and professional writers associated with the course. I've been on the editorial panel that's been working on the project for just under a year. I can't wait to see the finished book!