Well, I’m safely ensconced in London, and I’ll be taking the train up to Birmingham Friday to prepare for the Dudley Bug Ball.

Thanks to efforts above and beyond the call of duty on the parts of Wizard’s Attic and Esdevium Distribution, I also have eight boxes of Dork Tower goodies waiting for me at the convention site. This includes comics, games and t-shirts, SO YOU’D BETTER COME ON DOWN AND BUY SOMETHING! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY, BUY SOMETHING!

Seriously, it sounds as if registration’s far and away exceeded expectations of the organizers, so it should be a grand time for all. Hit the web site at http://members.aol.com/dudleybug/ and get ready for some serious fun!

In the meantime, London is, as always, fabulous. I’ve even managed to draw and scan in some cartoons for next week and upload the web site from here (which hopefully means I can come over on short trips more often).

I’ve already managed to hit one of my favorite restaurants (La Lanterna by Tower Bridge) and spend FAR too much time in the giant record stores of Oxford Street (I picked up albums by the Doves and Wilco. The fact that there’s a new Jam compilation in at number 17 on the British charts just makes me sad that the Jam left us (choke) over two decades ago…)

I popped into the Forbidden Planet, the place I used to work lo those many years ago when it was on Denmark Street. In fact, I really haven’t strayed too far from the Tottenham Court Road/Oxford Street/New Oxford Street/Charing Cross Road nexus, which is fine by me. Of course, everything’s changed save for my sense of timing sucking (I missed both a huge miniature gaming con AND a White Stripes concert by a matter of days). But it’s still a blast.

I’ve managed to break jetlag early through judicious use of drugs (well, prescription medication – but “drugs” sounds FAR more Bohemian) and alcohol this trip. By day two in London, I was waking up at 6 am, getting a ton of work done, and feeling a bit dizzy by noon – my schedule in America precisely. I missed my college friends at the George (by London Bridge) on Wednesday (I thought they always gathered there. Apparently it’s not the weekly event I thought it was), but may still see them when I return from Birmingham.

For once, Britain has no new coinage to confuse me with. Ever since I moved back to the States, every trip over here really did seem to see the debut of SOME new or resized denomination or other. But I guess the entire rest of Europe switching to the Euro kind of makes up for that.

I love this city and this country, though, and feel like I’m back home. It’s great seeing family and friends, and although my next scheduled trip isn’t until Dragonmeet in November, I hope to make it back before then.

The new iPod is brilliant, by the way. I managed to upload 40 CDs before I left, and they really made the trip over much more enjoyable. Right now I’m listening to The Who’s “A Quick One, and just getting psyched about being in the coolest city on the face of the planet again.

And to drive the point home again: Dudley Bug Ball. Dudley Bug Ball. Dudley Bug Ball. Dudley Bug Ball. !

Hope to see you this weekend!

John

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