I planned a trip to Lewes in Sussex yesterday to interview Stella, who used to be in Brighton band The Objekts. Lewes is a very peculiar town, with a vibe that makes my hair stand on end: I used to work at a printers there, The Malling Press (I wonder if it's still there?) which was a deadly experience which I have written about in great detail in the past.
It is situated in a sort of bowl in the Sussex Downs, with almost perpendicular chalky cliffs around it, and its built on a steep hump of a hill. People in the street look as if they have never visited the outside world. There are a couple of beautiful old churches.
I have been looking for her years and then discovered that she had been a Facebook friend for ages, with a different surname.
Well, of course, I had to mess it up.
I got a train that arrived half an hour after our meeting time and we hadn't exchanged mobile numbers, and we missed each other.
I emailed her in the hope that she might come back, and met Offsprog One for a browse in a really good bookshop and a bowl of spinach soup in a lovely caff called Laporte's.
I bought a lovely illustrated childrens' book (it featured engravings of horses in bonnets, a sinister baby with a squashed looking face holding a kitten and an amorous milkmaid with a friendly cow) and a small Everyman edition of a Trollope novel I haven't read, The Vicar of Bullhampton. I was merrily working my way through Trollope's novels when I discovered that he was a fave of John Major's, so I stopped for a while, but the fact that everyone gets their just desserts after being thoroughly nasty is so satisfying, I had to start again!
The phone rang, and it was Stella: she came back, and we had a great chat about the old days and she did a very interesting interview about Brighton. She has thought about it all a lot, and just having that other perspective made it all worth while. I am hugely grateful to her for making the journey back again!
I have been writing again this morning, and having spent yesterdays train journeys reading through all the old interviews I've realised there's one missing and I'll have to climb up to get the spare hard drive from the top of the bookcase and find it. It's something about nuns I'm looking for.