darkemeralds: Jared Padalecki in Regency attire (Restraint Tristan)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
Technology--the high kind, anyway--never works quite as one hopes, and this becomes really evident during travel. The power adapter turns out to be incompatible with the charger for the bluetooth earphone that you were hoping would communicate walking directions in London discreetly to your ear from Google Maps, which in any case fails after half a day of tramping around because the battery in the mobile device is sucked dry by the GPS connection.

Strangely enough, it's still worth doing, this travel thing. There is, I can now say from experience, a huge difference between choosing an address for a fictional character by staring long and hard at Google Maps, and actually walking up to the door of that address and hearing the heavy traffic in the next street.

Knowing that it's a mile and a half from that address to the one occupied by another character is nothing like walking that mile and a half and feeling the shift from respectable to resplendent, and the pleasant relief of turning from a busy thoroughfare into the quiet side street. "Your destination is on the right," says the navigation voice. "And two hundred years in the past," I think.

The past, of course, shows through--shines through--everywhere in London.

14 Upper Berkeley Street, Westminster

John's Door
Number 14, Upper Berkeley Street was, Penrith noted, a respectable enough direction, but one or two streets to the north or the east, one would find oneself in a far less savoury quarter. Penrith supposed vaguely that Acklebury must not have the means to secure a more elegant address.

10 Half Moon Street, Westminster
The following day, Mr Acklebury presented himself at number 10, Half Moon Street. It was a large townhouse faced in polished white stone. Two broad, stone steps led up to a columned portico. Mr Acklebury mounted these and knocked at the door.

(Note: Tristan's townhouse, now a fancy hotel, boasts the most decadadent-looking bar in its basement, where the kitchens and service area would have been. Decorated in jewel-toned silk cushions, dark mirrors and black marble and gilt, it struck me as the sort of basement den where a guy like Penrith, had he but lived in the 1960s, would have had illicit and orgy-oriented parties. [personal profile] ravurian and I had a drink there.)

A busy London intersection, where Great Cumberland Street opens into Park Lane
Before his eager steps could take him into Mayfair, John was forced to pause in his walk to allow the passage first of a troop of the King's Guard then of a pair of fine coaches along Great Cumberland Place. As he stood waiting by the side of the busy road, his breath slowing and the cool October air making itself apparent upon his face, a curious sensation came over him. For a moment everything about him seemed to slow, and grow quiet. The thundering of the horses' hooves, the call of the sergeant of the guard, the rumble of the carriages' wheels, the crack of the coachman's whip, all faded from John's hearing, and he stood silent and still, as if in a daze. Someone jostled his shoulder in stepping out into the road, but he scarcely noticed.

I am changed, he thought, and nobody knows it. He could not have found words to describe what he felt, but into his mind came an image in which all of London was receding, flying away from him in every direction with a great rushing of sound and a blur of faded colour, while he stood on this street corner, unmoving and vivid, golden and warm, and as full of sweetness as a pear on an autumn bough, truly alive for the first time in his life. A cord of fire tugged at his heart, and at its other end was Tristan. It did not matter whether Tristan was a mile away in Half Moon Street or a world away; in that long, resonating moment, John thought it would not matter whether Tristan were in this world at all; he would still feel the pull of that cord.

As if coming suddenly back to life, the city crashed into tumult around him again, and John shook his head to clear it. Even before the exhilaration of his vision began to wane, he felt a pang of sorrow, for that new colour, that succulence and round fullness, had been brought into his life by what must remain forever hidden, unspoken, and celebrated only in dark and secret places, and he did not know if he could bear it.

John drew a deep breath of London's insalubrious air, looked carefully about him, and crossed the road.

Date: 2011-09-10 03:26 pm (UTC)
cookiemom6067: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cookiemom6067
That is SO COOL! I've got chills. They're real places, Y'all!

Date: 2011-09-10 03:37 pm (UTC)
panisdead: (Default)
From: [personal profile] panisdead
Oh my god, how fun! I love that you got to visit the actual addresses. What a thrill.

About eight years ago, I took a trip to Portland with a friend who had written a story (actually, it might have been several stories) set there. We ate at Blue Hour, a restaurant featured in one of her stories. I went to visit the bathroom, came back to the table, and said, "[Your characters] totally had sex in that bathroom," at which point she practically sprinted back to check it out. And then almost immediately started fic about it. ::g::

Date: 2011-09-10 04:21 pm (UTC)
roxy: (rose by roxicons)
From: [personal profile] roxy
How wonderful! What wonderful thing to start my day with--I teared up reading John's thoughts. The pics are lovely--so thrilling to see the places we saw in our minds reading the stories.

I got an actual little physical jolt seeing Tristan on my list. *hums happily* And of course, now I'm *LONGING* to see a Tristan and John of the 1960s. I can see it already--even though I think I'm confusing Tristan with my faded memories of Jerry Cornelius. *G*

Date: 2011-09-10 10:12 pm (UTC)
roxy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] roxy
Yes!!! Yes!!!

*rolls up sleeves* Now, what can I do to make this happen?


For truly wonderfully strange reading, The Dancers at the End of Time can't be beat. I liked it even better than the Jerry Cornelius stories.

Date: 2011-09-11 05:21 am (UTC)
vampirefan: (restraint penrith)
From: [personal profile] vampirefan
somehow i feel like i've read some of michael moorcock (and omg. i keep seeing "more cock", which yeah of course. *is 12* lol!!)

...but i can't seem to find which series it is that i read... will have to do some research, plus i will look for the book you linked to!

Date: 2011-09-11 05:55 am (UTC)
roxy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] roxy
*giggles with you*

The book is very old, and very strange--I hope you find it!

Date: 2011-09-11 12:46 am (UTC)
ravurian: (toby)
From: [personal profile] ravurian
I didn't even know I wanted this until I read this comment, but gosh, I want to read it right now. *iz mindblown*

Date: 2011-09-11 05:56 am (UTC)
roxy: (heart on fire stock-photo)
From: [personal profile] roxy
noooooo, not *somebody*

*Stares at you*

Date: 2011-09-11 07:06 pm (UTC)
roxy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] roxy
omg, yes, there is *so* a story there and I will do *anything* ANYTHING I can to help it along.

Not that I'm begging with no sense of shame, or anything....

But yeah, John would have to be a Mod, all self-consciously struggling to be cool--which means he'd have to act bitter and sarcastic, slipping on this world-weary facade that's so untrue because he hardly knows anything, but he's so good at faking it that everyone buys it and looks to him for clues as to what's hip and what's not....

Date: 2011-09-11 05:23 am (UTC)
vampirefan: (restraint penrith)
From: [personal profile] vampirefan
i was totally looking for the +1 button! lol! cause yes!

Date: 2011-09-10 04:24 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] runcible_spoons
How lovely. Oh, John, my little crumpet. *hugs him hard*

I'm trying to take a break from Restraint. I won't read it again until the new year. But this was a lovely little field trip. Thank you. And what a wonderful trip.

Date: 2011-09-10 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] runcible_spoons
Heee! I would live there if it were at all possible. Which, thank the lord, it is not. I would have died in childbirth.

Your pix made me cry. I'm lonely for Ravensworth. Sigh. It will be long fall and winter without my boys.

Also, I dl'd them at work when I was in catering and I totally listened to the podfics while I did my financials.
Bad, Jo. Still, they kept me sane in a very insane world.

I have this weird sense memory of the smell of Tristan's boots. I cleaned tons of saddles in my youth and polished enough riding boots to shoe an army. And I think about standing next to his chair and straightening them where they've fallen over and I can smell them. Damp leather, loam, a bit horsey. Manly.

This. Is. Not. Helping.

I'm glad you're having a nice trip.

And I'll feed your greed anyday.

(hugs) Jo

Date: 2011-09-10 07:00 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] runcible_spoons
I think Cooper really loved Tris. Probably Cooper was the only mature fatherly love Tris ever knew. I imagine Cooper tending him in sickness with the same affection and wry care he might give his own headstrong children.

He was a wonderful character.

Date: 2011-09-10 08:27 pm (UTC)
dine: (fan - semyaza)
From: [personal profile] dine
how fabulous you were able to visit these places - it makes the scenes in the story so much more vivid! it's wonderful to hear about your experience, and what it means to you

Date: 2011-09-11 04:01 am (UTC)
dine: (tricorns - semyaza)
From: [personal profile] dine
thanks - it's my fangirl icon *g*

I have two from that era - this is the other. nothing Regency, which is a shame, considering how fond I am of the period. I should get on that

Date: 2011-09-11 05:17 am (UTC)
vampirefan: john acklebury from restraint fic (restraint acklebury)
From: [personal profile] vampirefan
as cookiemom said: that is so cool!!

and i LOVE the passages you chose! i think it's about time for a restraint re-read! or re-listen (although i still can't accept that it doesn't look like the final part will be recorded *sadface*)

i still think this should totally be a movie...just seeing their homes makes it more real...

Date: 2011-09-12 05:16 am (UTC)
layne67: (Default)
From: [personal profile] layne67
I'm close to hyperventilating here, seriously. Oh my, I do hope someone would photoshop those two houses there, put some carriages or something there to make them look Regency *HOPES*

Thank you so much!

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