The inevitable early morning uhtceare we suffer on the morning of any big event proved unfounded (Will the author arrive? Will he pull a hum durgeon?, etc.), and at 7.30pm there was a packed audience in Abingdon's newly refurbished and resplendent Roysse Room.
Despite some betwattled activity by staff to get the microphone working shortly before Mark arrived, it wasn't the the shturmovshchina I had initially feared. The evening was slightly warmer of late, not so swale as expected, so there was no collapsing of bumbershutes from guests as they grubbled for tickets and removed golgothas waiting to come in. The start time of 7.30pm was conveniently past any prior cinquasept I'm happy to say.
Historically a misocapnist, I was happy to stand as the dimpsy murkened with Mark for a pre-event smoko before the event kicked off, preparing my intro en charette and pointing out the County Hall in the distance with its fake-medieval ceiling fixing. Mark was thus able to point to this piece of skeuomorphism to begin his talk - and the evening really got going.
Mark talked about the romantic language of supermarkets, with their gondolas and light thieves, as well as communicating his incredible passion for dictionaries and their importance in recording social and oral history. With no interruptions or kittle pitchering, Mark's talk gave way to questions and duologues. The audience shared some of their own unfamiliar words: the words wassack and dap were bandied about.
But, sadly, gabos: there were books to be sold and signed. Having roughly translated the Roysse Room's greek inscription at the beginning of the event, Christmas was uppermost on everyone's mind, and as the meeting broke up into a collocation, Mark signed books and met the audience...
Finally, quafftide had arrived. We decamped to have a small go at a local potation-shop, that fine sluicery The King's Head and Bell.
Our thanks to Mark for a truly wonderful evening, where we felt royally and golupshusly entertained and educated. Mark's tour around the country continues, and if you get a chance to hear him talk - please do so.
All that remains is for us to publish the blog in time-honoured fashion. I was perendinating, but as it happens I think this will do. It has a quality of doneness that I particularly like...