Yes, Snottingeham - The Village of the People of Snot - is the old name of Nottingham, the next stop on my tour. I was the guest of the university there, and was expecting a few night's stay in a 1960s pre-fab, and instead found myself greeted by the porter 'Are you my house guest sir?' and then taken along a tree-lined avenue to a delightful Georgian country house, and into the Newstead Suite, where the chancellor stays when in town.
I had a busy 40th birthday, doing a talk on 'Landscape and Space' with Thomas Legendre and Matthew Welton and then a public lecture in the evening on 'The Writer in China'.
A fine curry afterwards, and then I happened to be near Lenton Road, which to me, and many others, means Games Workshop. Couldn't resist going over and hanging out, and meeting the geeks, and visting the figure museum there, with some of the best of miniature painting and diaoramas.
GW is also the home of one of my favourite pulp publishers: Black Library, and I had a very enjoyable session with Nick Kyme, who has an amazing ability to riff on an idea.
I've a lot of respect for pulp fiction writers because a lot of 'literary' writers could learn a thing or two about story telling from them. So it was a delight to meet up for a curry with Graham McNeill, New York Times Bestselling author, the author of an astounding 22 novels, and winner of the David Gemmel Legend Award. We ended up in a late-night rock bar, and really enjoyed the night, Graham's a great guy!
Lunch that day was in the world's oldest pubs, with a great pint of pale ale, and the next day a fabulous tour through the tunnels under Nottingham Castle.