Yesterday, I found myself with a day to do whatever I wanted in London. My original plans had fallen through, so I decided to do a tour of esoteric bookshops and other shops around the Covent Garden/Tottenham Court Rd area. I got the tube there, and despite the downpour, managed to stay relatively dry as I wandered around.
First port of call was Watkins, where I had a lovely chat with the manager about stocking my books there, once the new print versions are ready. Then outside, I watched a Harry Potter tour group as they made magic… Cecil St is meant to have been the street that inspired Diagon Alley.
My next port of call was a shop called Silver Moon, which had magically disappeared… unless it is like Grimmauld Place, and only appears when the secret keeper gives you the password. In any case, I moved on to Mysteries, and had a lovely chat with a lady working there whose mission is to become an actress in spiritual movies. We chatted for a while about books and publishing, and I will be contacting the manager to see about stocking my books there too. I knew when I found Mysteries online, that I needed to visit, as the address is 9-11 Monmouth Street. I still see the numbers 911 every single day, and have done since 2008. (But that’s another story) and of course my nearest town at home is Monmouth… Very glad I listened to the signs and paid a visit.
Then I moved onto to the Atlantis Bookshop, which was sadly closed (I guess it was a bank holiday yesterday). It looked great, I will have to visit again. I briefly popped into the Astrology Shop, but it was so busy I didn’t stay too long. Then I moved onto Treadwell’s Bookshop, which is the home to many interesting books on Paganism and mythical lore. It definitely reminded me of a shop in Diagon Alley, and for the atmosphere alone I would recommend it. I didn’t see any fiction sections, but while making a purchase I decided to enquire about the possibility of stocking books there. The lady said they wouldn’t be interested, as fiction doesn’t sell well in their store, but a guy who was browsing at the time asked what I wrote. We started chatting and decided to get a drink in a lovely deli a few doors down.
It turned out that Clint, who is a writer and publisher from California, had also just done the same tour of shops that I had just done. So we were bound to cross paths at some point during the afternoon! We chatted for over an hour, about books and publishing and faeries and gnomes. Clint is the publisher of a rather delightful book called ‘Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop. And other practical advice in our campaign against the Fairy Kingdom’. It looks fantastic, and when we get more chickens, it will be a must-read I’m certain!
I gave Clint some I’m Here tour cards to take back to California with him, and though I didn’t leave any cards in Treadwell’s, I took this photo of Clint as part of the book tour:
It felt quite serendipitous, meeting Clint and having such a great conversation, especially seeing as I had only decided to do the little tour of bookshops at 11am yesterday morning. After a Californian hug goodbye, I headed back towards the tube station. On the way, I stopped by a supermarket to get some food to make up some food bags, which I distributed to some delightful homeless men on my way to the coach station. I also found a new home for the umbrella I received as a thank you for signing up for the New York Times at the Mind Body Spirit Festival.
All in all, it was a brilliant day, and I even made it to the coach station in plenty of time. I arrived home last night rather tired but happy!
I do love a little serendipity. Have you had a serendipitous experience? I’d love to hear about it.