Somewhere back in [indistinct noises], when I was still in [more indistinct noises], someone mentioned the Hay Festival in Wales. And so I idly looked it up and immediately was like holy shit, Eddie Izzard! And then holy HOLY shit, Neil Gaiman! With Stephen Fry and Chris Riddell! Fuck me sideways.

The Neil/Stephen/Chris event was only like $15, so despite having no place to stay — and literally everywhere near Hay-on-Wye sold out — I bought a ticket, like, immediately. I hemmed and hawed over Eddie a bit more, since it was more like $40, but eventually, you know, fuck it.

And then weeks later realized oh shit I should probably actually find a place to stay.

I think Eddie Izzard was on like a Thursday and Neil et al the following Monday, so there was some leeway in actually spending the weekend somewhere. Thought about Bristol or Gloucester, but eventually decided on Cardiff as there was a fairly easy/inexpensive train up to Hereford and then a shuttle bus between Hereford and Hay — and also because there were actually still rooms in Cardiff. And I’d never been.

Also on the way to Eddie Izzard, the train broke down for like three hours — thankfully I’d allowed for waaaay more than that leeway getting there for the first time — and now I am friends with a young Welsh politician and we periodically email about, like, ants and cockroaches, and just generally had a good time talking. I love train people.

The Festival was great, though I opted not stick around to get my beloved Neil Gaiman-signed journal double-signed, because (a) I had a migraine and (b) was also racing to catch the shuttle to catch the train to get back to Cardiff and did not feel like waiting in line for hours to fluster over another tired author.

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(I considered it, though.)

And not that conducive to photography, since by this time I was solely reliant on my terrible replacement phone that ran out of juice in like thirty seconds.

But at least I can check “watch Neil Gaiman and Stephen Fry banter while Chris Riddell live-draws them doing so on stage” off my list.

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And Cardiff was beautiful in and of itself. I bought a pair of Adidas there, which was pretty exciting. Like, why are my ankles even more achy than usual? — Ohhh, because I don’t own a pair of sneakers anymore because mine probably got blown up in Manchester. Some Romanian dude in the hostel who walked the line between cute and creepy hit on me on the daily, which was equal parts — well, cute and creepy, depending on the day.

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Me too, dude. Me too.

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