Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spaceport: Courtesan and Englishness

The next Spaceport book is done! Well, finally. I only figured out the ending this weekend. It's the story of Sayana, Jal's sister from Incognito. She was originally a throwaway character, until I realised I couldn't pass up the opportunity to write about a courtesan who lives in a spaceship. It should be out in November (yes, it's very late being turned in!).

* * *

Yesterday I found myself on the way to Cambridge with the family, on an expedition to help my dad spend his money on a new TV. On the way, someone foolishly suggested we go to the tearooms at Granchester for lunch. Well, since this involved turning the car around and retracing about a hundred yards, we said yes. Of course, it being a Saturday, and Cambridge hating the car, it took about twenty minutes. And the car park had a queue down the road. And the queue to be served was even longer. And there were no tables.

But I still had a nice time anyway. I can't think of anywhere else where people might queue up to sit outside in deckchairs, in an orchard, with actual apples and everything, drinking tea and eating scones, in October. It was all so English. So English, in fact, that it was full of tourists. Well, that's Cambridge for you.

(Incidentally, anyone from the Cambridge area, please check out the Rupert Brooke poem on the Orchard's website. I especially like how Cambridge people rarely smile, Being urban, squat, and packed with guile. And the less said about Shelford, the better!)


  1. No, no, that's just a smokescreen to keep tourists away.

    Would probably work better if more people read it.

  2. We rarely smile because we're too busy plotting dark deeds to rid the city of cyclists who don't understand what cycle paths are for.

    Or maybe that's just me.

  3. Hey, that tea garden looks familiar. Is that where the four of us went when I visited? (That'd be me, you, Alysia, and my massive hangover, in case you were wondering.)

  4. Actually there were five of us: I brought my hangover too. Well, it didn't want to miss out on the scones and cream.

    As for Cambridge people, I couldn't comment on the smiling. All I ever see in Cambridge are tourists. Poem's not working!

  5. Ahh, yes, I thought that was the place! It was difficult to be sure, though, because the picture wasn't throbbing and groaning. That'd be the day I discovered that really strong tea really can begin to remove the pain from the brain.

    Of course, a day at the spa works better.

  6. Which is why we drink so much tea in England. You Americans and your coffee, will you never learn?