New York dream time

"Working" in our apartment's garden

“Working” in our apartment’s garden

It’s been about three weeks since we got back from New York and it already feels like I made the whole thing up. I didn’t though, I really did spend a whole month living in a flat in the East Village, where I did a minimal amount of work and a lot of walking around.

I don’t think of myself as the kind of person who gets to go and spend a month somewhere like that (we’re not exactly rolling in the dough) and there are so many spots that recall films and TV series that we watch on the sofa at home that the experience was rather dreamlike.

It all started with the madness of NYCC, where Fin and Sean launched Walk Don’t Run and I ran around trying not to buy too many cool things, and ended with a day lost at the Met then a desperate swapping of books and weighing of luggage as we tried to stay under our allowance. Beautiful.

I’d meant to get a lot of writing done while we were away. I always mean to get a lot of writing done. And I’m a little sad to report that I didn’t. I did have an amazing time though, and had the chance to not only see a lot of things I really wanted to, but also to spend some extra time reading which is always a treat in itself.

Also, the ABC: Why Children’s Books Matter exhibition at the NYPL happened to be on, meaning I unexpectedly found myself face to face with the original manuscript for The Secret Garden. This, somewhat unexpectedly, caused my to blubber like a fool. Maybe because I’d only just found my childhood copy a few days before we left. Maybe because it reminded me how fragile such things are. Maybe because it made me feel as though it doesn’t matter what we do with our words or with our days, as long as we try to fill them with an adventurous spirit.

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

A Bugged Manchester adventure

Only a few days after Ink and I returned from our adventure in NYC, it was time for me to set off again – although it was to somewhere slightly closer to home this time.

Still reeling from the flight and holiday fun, I grabbed my good friend and we boarded a Megabus (I’m sorry for that 5am start by the way) bound for Manchester. After a not very pleasant journey and a distinct lack of sleep – especially as I hadn’t managed to drop off at all before leaving – we arrived a little bleary eyed and ready to drink a lot of coffee before hunting down the City Library, where I was reading as part of the Bugged book launch.

After much walking in circles, we made it and in plenty of time to run off and eat some veggie fried breakfasts. While this was decidedly tasty, it was perhaps not the best choice for someone who was feeling a little nervous about her second ever public reading. Luckily, I got over the nausea and we made it back to the library in time to find all of the other readers and a nice selection of listeners ready to enjoy the event.

Lynsey May reading at Bugged Launch in ManchesterHaving already read most of the Bugged pieces online already, I was expecting a pretty high standard overall. Everyone lived up to my expectations – even though a few of the folks were giving their first readings – and it was cool to be a part of it. A big thanks to Jo Bell for her enthusiasm and also to her and co-editor David Calcutt for putting the project together.

Once it was over, we joined a group of readers and retired to a nearby cafe for yet more coffee, and grilled people for suggestions for our one and only night in Manchester. Typically, the locals struggled (the same thing happens to me, even though everywhere I look I’m surrounded by pubs here in Edinburgh) but we lucked into a great restaurant and some memorable places to drink.

The night was packed with silly posing and photo taking (Bugged pics courtesy of the lovely Martha – who is showing us her oneness with the medium of TV) and we filled the next day shopping and seeing Despicable Me (which was SO CUTE and lovely) before catching the bus back to Edinburgh. Overall, we decided we liked Manchester a lot and I’m really glad the Bugged reading inspired me to take the trip – yay for literature.