I know that we were talking about the cultural causes of innumeracy - the mediaeval church's suspicion of zero and the post-Blake writerly dread of measurement - that was just Robert and me and we drifted on to the Mayan count and the way that some people who are functionally innumerate will know, in a sense, quite a lot about mathematics from other culture because they have no instinctive dislike of them. Which reminded me of a woman I know who stopped dating women who beat her up in favour of an Algerian guy who beat her up and said 'I thought I could swing it politically if it was with a third world man.'
By this time, Colin and Charles and Claire were all talking about Poe and how much better he reads in French translation. And I suggested that the reason why Borges rated Lovecraft was that he had read him in French - the smaller French vocabulary omits all those bad word choices - no chance of eldritch and eerie when it is all etrange.
This got us on to verse translation generally - I talked about using it to check my sanity when I was ill and found myself saying 'When I translated de Nerval's sonnets' and being mocked - and Robert who publishes a lot of translation talked about how novels from some languages end up longer and some shorter.
Later on Colin and I were telling the slightly shockable Charles drugs stories, including the time that Colin got me up on crystal at some sf convention and I was stalking around being terrifying because uppers make me several times larger and more intense - this was in my bustier and thighboots period when I only weighed twelve stone which since I am six four is frighteningly thin.
I stalked through a party full of fluorescent dust bombs and somehow came out without a stain on my leather - which may mean drugs create a force field or may mean that I am just that scary when up. Which is why I have been clean and sober for so long - it is too scary to contemplate being On too much of the time.
And that led to me telling a lot of other embarrassing anecdotes from the memoirs which you won't get here now.
There was quite a long Buffy conversation between me and Tamsin, the smart teenage daughter of Frankie and Leon, and Charles, who has never got it. Tamsin's fave episode is The Body - which shows me up...
But it all went fast and we were all being brilliant and cultured and I remembered why I go to these first Tuesday writer's hang arounds...Just reassurance that I am as clever as I think I am.