Oh, the day after our Christmas Steps adventure began in the purest hangover pain, and hunger pangs. Since I fancied a light breakfast of crumpets. Gareth made sure I got one, as well as a piping mug of tea.
Books and Authors
After collecting ourselves and feeling more like members of humanity again, we ventured into town. Today’s foremost goal was to meet fellow author Peter F. Hamilton at Forbidden Planet, where he and Gareth would sign book stock for their new novella, LIGHT CHASER.
We were all three going to meet for lunch at a certain pub, but it was not open yet. So, we went around the corner and found a truly beautiful place to dine. I was instantly smitten with the cocktail bar the Lost & Found, as you can see:
Peter made for a wonderful lunch companion. I enjoyed chatting with him and listening to him and Gareth talk about life and writing. Following lunch, the three of us strolled to Forbidden Planet, which is essentially a geek’s dream. There, Gareth and Peter signed their books. I asked Peter to sign my own copy that Gareth had mailed to me for reading on the plane over. After that, we wished Peter farewell.
Coffee and Cake
Because I’m always on the lookout for more snacks, Gareth and I walked around until we found a perfect place to have coffee and a treat. At Java on Park Street, we beheld this gorgeous place, and I indulged in my cake. This was not to be the only cake of the day, as it turns out…
Banksy and Bristol
More exploration of downtown Bristol rewarded us with an original Banksy piece of art on a building.
Off on a mission to find some pub merch for my eldest brother, we did indeed find a splendid pub with no merch at all. I enjoyed exploring The Hatchet Inn, however. It claims to be Bristol’s oldest pub, founded in 1606: a pub older than my own country!
Gareth drove us around to sight-see, and I found beauty everywhere.
Meeting Gareth’s Mum
After that, his mum invited us to tea, and so we headed back to Portishead to change and freshen up. Then I met Gareth’s mum for the first time. She is lovely and witty and caring, much like Gareth himself. And she had whipped up a marvelous cake for tea within less than an hour! I was in my element.
We said goodnight to her and drove out to the shoreline. Across the Severn, the lights of Wales shimmered. The sunset was magnificent, and its fading glow lit a small lake plied by swans.
Later, when we headed back to downtown Bristol, we beheld these signs.
We had been chasing light all day, and really our whole lives, but we found it in each other.
Stay tuned for Part Eight!
J. Dianne Dotson is the author of The Questrison Saga science fiction and fantasy books.