What did piss me off quite royally was the way that the security people confiscated several hundred mobile phones and kept us waiting in a potentially dangerously over-crowded foyer while they returned them. Way to make friends and influence people and I plan to speak to the Health and Safety people if it ever happens to me again. On the other hand, I had a useful moment of schmoozing that would never have happened otherwise.
John Brosnan died, apparently. He wasn't a friend, little more than an acquaintance, but just one of the other professional writers about sf and sf film who have been around the scene as long as I have. He was a respected colleague who did good work and will be missed for reasons that are not just a matter of reminding us of our own mortality. I hope people will say the same about me.
The cool thing today was that I turned up at a press conference that had been cancelled, and I hadn't heard because I hadn't RSVPed, which serves me right. As a result, I was on a particular bus and overheard a woman telling some tourists about an art installation they should go to. Because I had a chunk of free time, I did just that.
'Kuba' is on one of the top floors of the now deserted New Oxford St sorting office, which is a cool place to wander around in its own right. On one floor, they've put in a cafe; further up there is a vast room with twentyfive or so television sets, each of them playing a repeating loop of a different interview with someone from Kuba, which is a reasonably notorious Istanbul slum. I watched one with a young student who had used 'Notting Hill' to understand his own breakup with someone from a different class, and another with a horrid young thug. I wish I had had more time to spare there, because it was fascinating - I will try and go back.
The interviews were glimpses of lives - what made them work, though, was the space and I suspect anything that let one wander around that space would have been given cool by the sheer fact. But hey! sometimes one shouldn't analyze too closely.