Leicester was great, although I am the worst networker ever. I think I spoke to about six people all day. And fell off the smoking wagon. Hard. My chest hurts.
The whole day was valuable, but I’ll single out Jed Mercurio’s closing keynote for special comment, because it was so straightforward, honest, and cynically hilarious. Much like Bodies.
An inspirational day.
But I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about what happened afterwards.
I got lost off the Fosse Way on the way home from Leicester. Somewhere between here and there, I hope I never quite remember, there is a Hell Town of Cthonic loyalties called Brinklow. Like Strangehaven, there is only one road in and out. You can take it as many times as you like, but will always find yourself back in Brinklow before the town’s lights have vanished from your rear-view mirror.
Driven to frustration and insanity; approaching Brinklow for the fourth time, a DARK POWER forced my car to clip a kerb. The tire burst, the wheel collapsed, the car span across lanes. Moments later, I was deposited in a ditch, surrounded by broken glass and branches, rain pouring through my missing windows.
Miraculously, I was unharmed. I called my dad to come pick me up, and the breakdown guys to bear my car away. Throughout the wait, I was lucky enough to be cared for by three lads on their way to a friend's eighteenth. They kept me warm in their car, and plied me with fags and booze, at the expense of a waiting chip supper. A motorway maintenance crew turned up, and we pulled the car out of the ditch onto the road. I was feeling pretty good, but my soul was in mortal peril. The town was surely seducing me by sending its agents to “help”. At that very moment, my dad was driving blindly around Warwickshire, unable to locate Brinklow or me. I swear I saw him drive right by me twice, and never slow down or look my way.
After a couple of hours the breakdown truck arrived, and somehow dispelled Brinklow's eerie hold. In quick succession my dad arrived, and my guardians, Gus, Andy and A.N Other (sorry, I can't remember), melted into the night. Sadly for my dad's car, I was so pumped with adrenaline, I pulled the door handle clean off trying to get in. The reason for his navigational confusion was less sinister than I imagined: he wasn't under an evil spell at all, he was just shitfaced after watching the rugby all afternoon.