Robin and I went up to Leeds on Friday to get ourselves ready for the Thought Bubble festival on Saturday. As you might well know, I lived in Leeds in 2000 or so for a little over a year before I came back to London, having witnessed a murder on the streets of Leeds.
As such, it's a city very heavy with memory for me, so going back there was like the psychometry of cities, with the streets telling me stories about the people I used to know when I lived there; the café where a woman would shout at me and call me a witch, the square where I sat and had sandwiches with a friend, the taxi rank I stood at where, across the road, I saw a man being beaten to death and was too late to save his life.
Friday was, therefore, essentially a catalogue of things designed to make me as anxious as possible. As well as the rush to get everything ready for the trip, I got a phone call from the ISBN agency saying my payment had bounced, followed shortly by a phone interview with Access to Work in which I was asked repeatedly to tell them what's wrong with me. That kind of thing is guaranteed to make me feel better about myself, isn't it? However, they're sending round assessors to talk about what kind of support they can give me and have agreed to let me have 16 hours a week of a support worker to help with manual tasks that are a part of my work - which is just brilliant and (excuse the pun) a weight off my mind! Still, dealing with them on the phone is always a bit of a stress.
So, add to that the accidental turning of a corner and looking at the spot where I saw a man kicked to death, an event that really broke me for years afterwards and I was a little bundle of nerves. Then, to cap it all, the hotel, which was beautiful and had a wonderful view of the city also seemed to have mice in the air conditioning and so after I'd had nightmares about people bursting into the room to try to murder me, I then lay there listening to the eeping every five minutes or so and resigned myself to it not being the best day of my life, but not, evidently, by far the worst.
It was just as well, then, that the festival itself went really rather well. We got to meet some more of the lovely people who write comics and got to be stupidly excited about meeting Simone Lia again. In Leeds, obviously, when she lives round the corner from here. Also met the lovely man from Forbidden Planet and the people from London Underground Comics, so more useful connections.
Next weekend, with a bit of luck, we should have a space at the ICA for Comica Comiket and Badger will be on a stall in Brighton the following day - after then, it's the Museum of London on the 4th of December and the London Underground Comics party on the thirteenth of December. It's going to be a busy month for Badger - I'm very happy!