So a slightly weird thing happened to me yesterday. As part of NaNoWriMo I found a local write-in that was happening up at Alexandra Palace which is a comfortably 30 minutes walking distance from my house.
Locally known as Ally Pally it's a huge glass and stone complex on a hill where the BBC used to signal boost from, and maybe even still do - I'm not sure. I saw the Afghan Whigs play there earlier this year so I know the way from my house.
Anyway I walk up there, and it's bright but there's plenty of dark clouds threatening rain. A nip in the air but a nice day for a walk all the same even if parts of that hill are fricking steep.
Because there's supposed to be a write-in happening there. Meet at 12.30 at the ice rink, said the forum, and we'll be in the cafe-bar. So I was at the ice rink for 12.30, in fact I was there for 12.20 and I went on through to the Ice-cafe (as it was called) and there's a kid's birthday party happening and no laptops.
So I ask around and it turns out there's a bar at the other end of the complex. So I trundle along (it's BIG complex) and go into the Bar-Kitchen and again, no laptops.
I check with the bar staff and they say there's another cafe out past one of the car parks, and I walk down the hill to check it out but it turns out to be really quite a distance and anyway it's called the Grove Cafe, so it's definitely not the cafe-bar. I talk to a security guard and she tells me of a fourth cafe (4 cafes!) over by the boating lake. I have to pass the bar-kitchen and the ice-cafe to get back there so I check on the way and still no laptops. I make it to the cafe by the lake and it's literally empty - not only are there no laptops, there's no people.
I'm a bit lost at this point, so I post on the Nano forum and also on Twitter, but get no response. I check with the husband, agreeing to meet him in the coffee shop underneath his gym, and wander down to it. But when I say wander what I really mean is 45 minute walk through crowded shopping streets because Ally Pally to Manor House - 3 tubes stops and no small distance.
At this point I'm a little bitter - have just 2 hours wandering around an English Heritage monument and NOT WRITING but I suppose my laptop in its nice laptop case did get a day out.
So I finally make it to the Costa (a big UK chain) and despite the nip in the air I have a lemonade because I'm just too damn hot from all the walking and I notice, over in the corner, at the table which is the perfect height for working on a laptop a girl working on a laptop with a NaNoWriMo sticker on it.
I go across, introduce myself and it turns out she's one of the MLs for London. We have a nice chat and she clues me in to several local writing things - a bookshop turning publisher and a local writers group - and I finally get to add to my word count.
Only 600 words but then I'm only there an hour before the husband comes down from gym and then we go on with our day. So in the end despite not finding a the write-in I was looking for, I did in fact, find a write-in where none existed.