Jessica Gregson’s blog

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Archive for January 2016


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I am actually reading David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten in Freetown, but let’s pretend I’m not, let’s pretend it’s two days ago when I was reading Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor in Brussels.

A photo posted by @clotidian on Jan 23, 2016 at 10:13am PST

The best way to get from the UK to Freetown at the moment is on Brussels Airways, which is actually a perfectly pleasant airline with decent food and legroom and seemingly endless episodes of The Big Bang Theory, without which no plane journey is complete – BUT if flying from London it involves a heartbreakingly bleak 6.50am flight from Heathrow, which requires a 4am taxi, and I just. Cannot. Instead I had the genius idea of taking the Eurostar over to Brussels on a Friday evening, spending a couple of nights with my friend J. (whom I met in a Mozambican backpackers’ hostel nearly nineteen years ago, on my first ever trip to Africa) and his girlfriend C., eating nice food and looking at art nouveau architecture, and having a very respectable 12.15pm flight from Brussels Airport on the Sunday. It was delightful. As was The Goblin Emperor. I confess I was initially put off by the title, which sounded a bit too High Fantasy for my tastes, and the extensive cast of characters with similar(ish) names doesn’t really lend itself to being read on a Kindle, as it’s not easy to keep flicking back and forth between the action and the character list. But in the end it’s a lovely long immersive book about someone piecing himself back together, and other people being kind to him while he does so. Made me feel better about the world. V. g.

A photo posted by @clotidian on Jan 23, 2016 at 10:13am PST


Written by Jess

January 25, 2016 at 10:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

In transit.

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I come to you from the Eurostar, somewhere in the dark wastes of northern France, or possibly Belgium by now. I still exist, and I am still reading things and being in places, but I have just come to the end of an unprecedentedly lengthy period back in the UK (over six weeks! Astonishing!) and it has been so nice just to be where I was. Where I was, of course, was all over the place: to Glasgow, to London, to South Wales, back to Glasgow, back to London, back to South Wales, impromptu side trip to Bangor, Northern Ireland, back to Glasgow, to Edinburgh for Hogmanay, to Glasgow again, to London to try and fail to get a DRC visa, back to Wales, back to London to try and fail again, back to Glasgow, back to London to try and fail for a third time (today) – and now gone. Perhaps a bit too much moving around to be truly relaxing, but I have seen a lot of my favourite people and done a lot of interesting things and it has been bloody great.

Here are some photos from lately.


A photo posted by @clotidian on Jan 7, 2016 at 8:04am PST

The glorious, glorious Shard, through rain-spattered windows.


A photo posted by @clotidian on Jan 9, 2016 at 5:35am PST

I have Complicated Feelings about London, but I must admit that sometimes it is very fine.

Not so bad getting the early train when the view’s like this.

A photo posted by @clotidian on Jan 13, 2016 at 12:48am PST

Dawn breaks over the Severn.

A photo posted by @clotidian on Jan 16, 2016 at 7:55am PST

Glasgow winter wonderland.

Written by Jess

January 22, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized