Week-end: from Discworld with cats

Name badge for Kathleen Jowitt on lanyard with text 'Discworld Convention 2022' and a red pompom

The good

I’m at the Discworld Convention! This hasn’t happened in four years, and it’s a joyous thing to have it back again. I often say that I married into Discworld fandom; this is the family reunion. My approach to conventions is going to every panel I can squeeze into my weekend; my husband’s is sitting in the bar catching up with old friends. This is probably the best way round (see Difficult and Perplexing, below). I’m having a lot of fun admiring people’s costumes and listening to, and occasionally engaging in, erudite literary discussions. Plus fowl jokes about chicken polishing.

Also, rain. I woke yesterday morning and heard the lovely sound of water pattering on the conservatory roof. (I don’t sleep in the conservatory, you understand: the sound comes in through the bathroom window.)

Edited to add: also, less than a week ago is a foreign country and the portal effect is strong. I had a lovely Sunday afternoon with friends and Tuesday evening with extended family. Was that really this week?

The mixed

Well, the con is great, but it is an awful lot of people in the same place, and…

The difficult and perplexing

… there is something about the acoustic of this hotel that captures and intensifies sound, and there is something about my brain that is really not coping with this. Certain areas – the lobby, the bar, the breakfast room – just get so loud that my head short-circuits. It got particularly bad at breakfast this morning and I had to walk out and cry outside. The staff were incredibly kind and sorted me out with a plate of beans on toast in the bar area (not crowded at half past eight in the morning, obviously).

And, continuing the tedious chasing of symptoms around my legs, my left knee is very achey and so are both calves. I often wake up with aching calves, but it’s going on most of the day at the moment.

What’s working

The three-three-three rule of eating. Three meals, three snacks, no more than three hours apart. I think I got this from the Fat Nutritionist. Either way, it’s worked at work (when I breakfast – reluctantly – at six in the morning, it then makes perfect sense to have an apple at my desk at nine) and at the con (mealtimes are a somewhat nebulous concept, but events tend to happen on the hour, so it’s reasonably easy to keep track of whether or not I’m due some food). Early days, but this does seem to be keeping me happier and saner. Making sure that I do eat, rather than trying to power through to whenever the next meal might happen to be, is a definite shift in practice, but one that I think might be worth sticking with.


I reread Lords and Ladies ahead of the con. I’m sure I heard somewhere that it’s the one that got Terry Pratchett the most hate mail, more even than Small Gods. Apparently some fantasy fans can’t cope with the idea that elves might not be nice.

Also picked up CATS: Cycling Across Time and Space, which I started reading when I got my author copies last year and then never got round to finishing.

And the new Jill Mansell was 99p on Kobo this week, so I picked that up too.


Three thousand words of space opera. I’m as surprised as you are. A bit on Households’ Rancour too. (I’m playing around with using the working title in casual conversation, like this, to see whether it sticks.)


Still working on the mystery patchwork. I had hoped to get the top finished in time to take the whole thing to the con and do the quilting there, but it hasn’t happened. I probably wouldn’t have got around to it anyway.

Watching and listening to

All sorts of diverting performances and interesting panels. Highlights so far: Queering the Discworld (I am an English graduate; I will queer anything you like); Bedtime Stories (this turned out to be the unofficial and the official biographers of Terry Pratchett swapping notes, and went on until getting on for midnight); Staging Discworld: the challenges of dramatising Terry; and A Night at the Discworld Opera. (Disclaimer: my husband was in that one. It was genuinely very good, though. There was a lot of appropriately modified Gilbert and Sullivan, and Rossini’s Duetto Buffo di Due Gatti, aka the Cats’ Duet, which I haven’t heard in a long time. We sang that at our wedding. I’m not kidding. It’s probably still on YouTube somewhere.)


Greengage chutney. This is probably a bit of a waste of greengages, which are good raw, but I wanted to deal with them before we went away.


On Wednesday I had a falafel wrap from my favourite falafel stand (the one in the garden at St Pancras new church). The queue was so long that I then didn’t have time to do the other things I’d meant to do that lunchtime, but it was worth it.


Sunday afternoon included the first two episodes of Heartstopper (me: ‘Is that the one about vampires, or is it something about doctors? No! I do know! It’s the queer teen rugby players, isn’t it?). Now I’m invested! But I don’t have Netflix! Options: buy the comics (but I haven’t yet read any of the books I bought the last time I went to Gay’s The Word); obtain Netflix (but we are already subscribed to a different streaming service); go and see my friends again (clearly the best option).


Swimming, again! This hotel has a pool.


On my train journeys, I’ve seen quite a few deer sloping across harvested fields.

In the garden

Greengages, as noted above, and a handful of tomatoes and french beans. The pears are looking good; the apples seem to be more of a mixed bag. The drought has killed a lot of the weeds and, I think, the ornamental ginger I bought a couple of months back.


Wonderful kind hotel staff. Impressive intricate costumes. Rain.

Line of the week

Has to be Lords and Ladies, really. The way that Pterry stacks allusions three high and then pulls the tablecloth away to show that it’s just chipboard underneath when you realise who he’s talking about

But that was a long time ago, in the past1. And besides, the bitch is…

… older.

1 Which is another country.

This coming week

Three days off! One to travel home and two to recover, do laundry, and prep for a planning meeting on Saturday. I’d like to have a safe and stress-free journey, for all to be well at home, and to be able to devote some of those two ‘free’ days to making some real progress on Households’ Rancour.

How was your week? What are you hoping for from the next one?

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