Thursday, 4 October 2007

Weekend in Cornwall

Prussia Cove, Porth-en-Alls
taken with my BlackBerry

Some dear friends of ours from my days in the Nuffield Department of Medicine were over from Melbourne. (That's where the UK bioscience brain drain has been for the past ten years, or so it seems to me; if I count up all my best friends from doctorate and post-doc years about half have ended up in Oz. Okay, most of those were originally Australian, but hey...)

They'd always talked about taking us to their favourite haunt in Cornwall, where they'd rent a cottage almost every year when they lived in the UK. We hadn't seen them for years, so this it was wonderful that this time, we could join them there.

I've been to Cornwall once before, North Cornwall, which is gorgeous but this place was even better! It has the Lizard on one side and Lands End on the other (both far in the distance); old smugglers caves, gorgeous little coves as well as wide, sandy beaches with all the stuff kids like (e.g. rock pools, pebbles, shells), amazing clifftop walks with views out to St Michael's Mount.

So after a gorgeous weekend eating Cornish pasties (veggie and yummy!), visiting ice-cream parlours and eating cake, I've probably gained a pound or three, despite the exercise of walking.

My friend Magda gave me a lovely scientist flashback moment when she went through the slides for a talk she gave last week at a conference in London; a fantastically effective new way to use nano-particles as part of a new vaccine for diseases like malaria. My very first research job was with a team developing one of the UK's earliest candidates for an AIDS vaccine, so it was vaguely familiar territory. I'm so proud of Magda, of all my scientist friends she's the first to be made a full Professor. Professor Magda!

In other news, someone is selling a bound proof of The Joshua Files: Invisible City on ebay. There are only a few hundred in circulation, I believe...

Only!

It should go for a very, very reasonable sum, i.e. cheap-as-chips, given that at this point in time i) almost no-one has heard of the title and ii) almost no-one has heard of the author...

15 comments:

R1X said...

That is crazy! And sickening I guess. Does, or rather, should that bother you? Does the publisher have any standing with preventing such a sale?

On the Cornish front - ahhhh, love it. Did you get to do the Minnack theatre?

MG said...

I don't think it's either crazy OR sickening! I have no problem with people reading my book before it's pubbed - after all most of the bound proofs were printed so that they could send 350 copies to all the Waterstones branches for their Children's Book competition. I'm just amused that someone would try to sell it now. They might get a better price in Feb. But if you get stacks of proof copies, what else are you supposed to do if you don't want to keep them? No: good on him. I just hope it sells...ah the indignity of my first available book-for-sale not selling even at a rock bottom price! Aww go on R1X, bid on it!

R1X said...

Actually, I'm just wondering about doing just that - I wasn't sure of the ethics though (that's a sale not going to you). :(

And with your blessing, I probably will. Of course, at some point in the future I will track you down for a personalised signing ;)

MG said...

Go for it! I'll definitely sign it. I'm sure whoevere buys it will also want to final version - the package is SO AWESOME! I'll put a photo up later.

Lucas said...

For the final version? omg omg omg. Also, that's my fab part of Cornwall!!!!
I love that beach there. I remember when i was young and the tide was out i went to that very same beach from your photo, and cause the tide was out, me and my sis explored around all these rocks.
I love that beach. :D
I saw invisible city on e-bay the other day aswell. I thought it was rather shameful and stupid. As like you say they would get a much better price from when it was published, as you would then be in the ranks of J.K Rowling, going to the premiere of the Joshua Files Movie. :D

Oh and in Cornwall, did you go to the Lizard, th the very end? I got so scared going over the bridges, at least i'm pretty sure it was there. :D

MG said...

Joshua Files movie, hey? ;)

We're quite a long way from that right now...but I appreciate the enthusiasm, as ever!

In answer to the Conrwall questions, we didn't go anywhere except the beach and the local small town. Rock pools, sea swimming, collecting shells and ice-cream parlours are what interest small children. Car trips to dull places that grown-ups like do not, at least not our little girls.

Very tempted to go back another time and see all the sights, St Michael's Mount etc.

Lucas said...

oooh ahhhh. St. Michaels mount. That's great there. :D
You HAVE to go to Boscastle. I haven't been since it was flodded, bt when i last went there it was BEAUTIFUL. It's the nicest place in Cornwall. :)
My mum went to the estate agents there. :D

esruel said...

Cornawall looks wonderful. My older brother used to live at Tregeseal Farm, St Just(e), and had been on at me to come down and visit. Just when I was about to, he was posted to Canada, where he decided to emigrate. After selling the farm he moved back to England! We are an odd family...

R1X said...

I won the bid :) It's all in the sneaky-peeking. Waited until the last 10 seconds, then put in a mahoosive bid (£25), and won it for £10.78.

How cool is that? I will relish it (even the mistakes) and look forward to not being able to tell a soul. ;)

MG said...

Hey R1X nice going! I hope it's an investment - you paid twice what the book will cost, so that would only be fair.

My brother phoned me last night saying me might bid. He has one copy already - I had three and gave him one, plus two for my kids (one quite dog-eared now, it's been read by five people). The reason he wanted to bid is cos I made it clear to him in the dedication that he must never sell that book on ebay...guess he wanted one to sell one day.

I'm glad it went to someone who knows me!

Lucas said...

Dam i should have kept my copy! lol.
I wish i had now. Oh well. Enjoy the book r1x. It's a gooden!

I'm interested about Jaguas realm by the way. :)

I'm also trying to arrange a release party for the Joshua Files at my local Waterstones. Since they do lot's of special party days. I've suggested it to them (since i'm friends with them all)
If it goes ahead it should be awesome. :)

Lukas...

MG said...

Hey Lucas, good luck with arranging a party. I'll be sure to send you a special message or something fun...let me think about it.

I emailed Jaguar's Realm to my agent today who replied very sweetly that he's really been looking forward to reading it. So, he gets to make his comments and then to pick a time to try to sell it...

And if anyone wants to publish it, you might get to read it in 2009!

Chu said...

Since I read "The Mists of Avalon" (I'm a huge fan of King Arthur. Seriously. You may laugh at me, I don't mind. I always say that I'm single because my man "lived" more than hundreds years ago, then we could never meet, haha) I want to visit Cornwall. The descriptions of it on the book are tempting. But before Cornwall I have a lot of other places in England to go to, so I guess Cornwall will be in the end of the "queue"...

MG said...

No I don't laugh! You should totally go to Cornwall, Tintagel is gorgeous and the whole place has a really magical feel.

Where is more important than Cornwall? It's really one of the best parts of the UK!

Chu said...

London, London, London. Stonehenge. Oxford. Then Corwall. Actually... I'd go everywhere if I could. And by everywhere I truly mean everywhere, since I'd literally live travelling if I could afford it. :-))) But I'll "upgrade" Cornwall on my list!

I've already thought of tracking King Arthur's walkabouts according to Bernard Cornwell's books, but it's not only exotic but also a little bit expensive. It'd also demand a lot of research, but that wouldn't be a problem at all for a nerd like me, heh!