Day 5: London Calling!
We left Paris super early in the morning – a little brutal the morning after a late night gig but hands full of French pastries I was looking forward to getting to explore another new city. We arrived at Kings Cross station and took a little detour to visit The famed platform 9 3/4 ! I’m a bit of a Harry Potter fan and tried my hand at pushing the luggage cart rig through the brick wall as though I were in route to Hogwarts! After checking into our hotel we set off into London! First stop was Kensington Garden. This is where I confess that something I’ve been looking forward to for months was the chance to see the Peter Pan statue that sits in the garden. Peter Pan is one of the most magical texts for me and my next novel draws upon it heavily so I was in horn when amidst the chilly London drizzle I finally got to see the statue. – it definitively didnt disappoint! We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering in and out of shops – finally finding a pet shop with a good selection of dog toys and picking something (an awesome grunting pig) to bring home to the canine pack. After a quick rest in the hotel it was time to walk over to the famed Bar Wotever
Bar Wotever calls the Royal Vauxhall Tavern home and it’s a beautiful old building with a great stage and before long the room began filling up with queers who were quite excited about our work! I had lots of great queer conversations about community, love of dogs, my mission to try interesting flavored crisps (as they call potato chips over here– a very sweet boy even went out and got me some unusual to me flavors!) and of course the election back home. Roving Pack was a huge hit – folks seemed to really get into the characters and stories and were a fantastically responsive audience. We didna mini Q&A mostly focused on the power of community and the importance of queers creating art and telling our own stories. It was such a great community event made even better by selling out of books!!!!!
Day 6: relief, adventure, boat!!!!
We woke up briefly at about 5 am our time to the relieving news that Obama had been reelected! Talk about a HUGE relief. When we woke up proper we got moving right away – its our last full day off while on tour and our only chance to really explore London! First we went to London Bridge where of course I sang the London bridge nursery rhyme song 😉 and after that headed over to Shakespeare’s Globe Thester, followed by Big Ben, Gays The Word bookstore and a whole lot of other exploring we were able to squeeze in along the way including a vegetarian version of an english breakfast and lunch in a pub!
Soon we had to go back to our hotel to pick up our bags and head to the train station! We took a train out of London to a harbor where we boarded a big ferry boat and got settled into our cozy cabin for the overnight journey to Holland! The boat was huge nd it was lots of fun to wander around and then curl up in our cabin looking out the porthole. If planned to stay up late looking for sea monsters, but tour caught up with me and I was asleep before we even set sail.
Day 7: Amsterdam
We awoke early and got off the boat to catch our trains into Amsterdam! We arrived in the late morning left our bags at the hotel and went out exploring. Im straight edge, and straight edge themes appear within Roving Pack. Even though I know that XXX is the abbreviation of Amsterdam, I really have been enjoying seeing XXX everywhere around the city! We went walking and poking into shops for quite a while, then met up with Kestryls girlfriend who lives in Holland for coffee. In the late afternoon we ventured out briefly ion the streetcar to a flea market where one of the most amazing things ever happened. Kestryl and I were walking down a street when a woman on a bicycle shouted “Sassafras Lowrey!” she jumped off her bike and said that I didn’t know her, but that she knew my work and that I was performing in Amsterdam tonight and Saturday!!!! It was WILD to be recognized by a stranger as an author on the street! Its haopened a couple of times in NYC but definitely never on tour- and in Europe no less!
We performed at de peper a vegan anarchist restaurant and event space. We ate dinner at the restaurant and had a chance to talk more with the organizer and local queers! Roving Pack went over really well I think- many good conversations after the reading about how folks saw themselves and their communities in the characters nd wee excited to read more—which is how I came soooo close (one book shy) of selling out of copies at the event- and I sold the very last copy of Kicked Out I had on tour!
For those following along on my potato chip adventures I ended the evening eith w snack of spaghetti flavored chips last in the hotel room as I uploaded TONS of picture to facebook of our adventures and Kestryl has an overnight date with hir girlfriend. We also have started a little ritual for the last few nights of tour- Kinder eggs are something i discovered on tour ( you can’t get them in the states because they are considered a choking hazard) so for the last few nights of tour were opening one each night – Kestryl gets the chocolate (ewwwww) and I get the toy inside – today I got the cutest little miniature rhino whose all fuzzy!!!!!!!!!
Day 8: Kestryl will be back to the hotel soon and were going to spend the first part of the day doing more exploring in Amsterdam and then will take the train out to Utrecht to Savanah Bay Feminist bookstore where we have a sold out event!!!!!
Please forgive spelling/grammar/typos I’m blogging from my iPad