Neil Before God
Waiting to see an idol in a cathedral, so contra-Commandment.
Before I post in more detail about my trip to Cambridge and seeing Neil Gaiman, I thought that I should write a post ‘on the scene’ as it were; here follows a segment of anticipatory delight.
Me and my partner Becki are seated on a wall outside Ely Cathedral (hence the title), a good two hours before N-hour. The reason for this is that the signing appears to be really popular; a thousand people are expected to arrive by the (excellent) staff at Toppings book shop. Those arriving earlier get seen earlier, which would be nice for us, as it would avoid a £40 taxi home (his last signing went on till 1am!). We’re among about 50 early birds sporting copies of The Ocean At The End Of The Lane and various other Gaiman titles.
Neil offered to sign something special, but we struggled to think of something. I don’t have a hard copy of Sandman (sacrilege!). My first Neil Gaiman book was Neverwhere, from watching the tv show. I still have that ratty (hoho) copy but it didn’t seem like something for both of us. In the end, we bought a copy of American Gods in the snazzy new cover. It’s a book that we both love and the nice new edition also includes The Monarch Of The Glen! Beans.
Ely is pretty cool; a small town with picturesque streets and nice open green spaces. The eponymous Cathedral is simply magnificent, towering above the town like towers are known to. We had a look inside- really recommend it. Christo business is like a duck’s back water to me, but in terms of historical interest it’s fascinating. The organ was playing a continuous wailing note like the siren in Silent Hill, but it was fun nonetheless. I can’t overstate the sheer peasant-crushing grandeur of the massive, ornate walls. It’s the sort of thing that makes you want to write fantasy, because it is fantastic that something so immense was built by humble human hands (sans modern machinery no less!)
So, an hour and fourth to go of sitting on a hard stone wall. It’s not so bad- got snacks, got book, got sunshine! Soon we get to meet the closest thing I have to a celebrity idol 🙂
No idea what to say to him, but it’ll be along the lines of ‘squee’.