It’ll probably sound melodramatic but I’m not sure i’d still be here if it wasn’t for the Disc. There’s been some times when the escapism they have offered is exactly what i’ve needed, from being in a foreign country, unable to communicate with people, to deep depressions where I hated myself and everything in my life, to the feeling of being basically stuck in my flat for 6 months after operations. Either way, during the worst periods of my life, i’ve been able to lose myself and not think about the real world.
This weekend my mum and I went to Salisbury to see the Hisworld exhibition in Salisbury Museum AND a talk by Stephen Briggs about his time with Terry making the (Disc)World that so many of us know and love, and the place where I know I can be safe and happy, no matter what.
I’ll be honest, the onion fairy was following me around all day, hence the lack of photos but the overall feeling I had during the day was one of happiness, that I had been lucky enough to be there, to meet Stephen, to catch a glimpse of Rob’s (sorry Rob) AWFUL shirt, to share in the laughter of the day, the wackiness of the creator and most of all, the luckiness I feel that I found the Discworld.
If you aren’t a fan then I suppose you’re wondering why so many people get so involved with the Disc, i’ve had people say it’s not funny, or clever or for that matter that interesting, but for some reason, STP has always managed to make me smile. Now, I wouldn’t sing the praises of EVERY one of his books, but theres at least 40 that I know I can read and will make me laugh, often to myself, more often out loud whilst i’m in public and personally, I don’t think thats bad going.
The exhibition was all about STP’s life and the world he created (70 million odd books sales certainly isn’t bad for a child who was told he was good for nothing and would never succeed) from photos and artwork, to costumes and the sword that he himself made from iron ore and meteorite . There’s so much to see that i’m seriously considering going back later this year, if only that I might see things that I couldn’t take in because my eyes were too misted over!
The Stephen Briggs talk was also really good, it’s lovely to hear people talk about Terry. I was lucky enough to meet the man once, and that is still the biggest instance of a “celeb” i’ve met. It’s lovely to hear of people who obviously cared very deeply for him yet still be able to be honest; he wasn’t always cheery, or happy or that bearded genial bloke that you see, he WAS angry, he WAS driven and these things make up (for me anyway) Commander Sam Vimes, one of STP’s greatest creations and for me how I like to think STP was…..
I suppose my favourite parts of the exhibit was the art, some classics by Josh Kirby (like the original artwork for Reaper Man, a particular favourite and one that I have in jigsaw form so once i’m in my forever home, that is going to be on a wall somewhere) to the more modern art by Paul Kidby, of which there are so many wonderful ones, one of which I am also, lucky to own (well, a copy anyway haha!) of the Discworld Massif – you could even play name that character, don;t mind saying, I got them all with no help……geek? moi? yes, actually very much so!
I came away from the day, emotionally drained, touched and the proud owner of some great photos – including Stephen pulling his Vetinari eyebrow (thanks to him for being a good sport, I asked him for that and he kindly agreed) and an UU prefect badge……my school deemed me not good enough for a prefect badge (despite that fact that EVERYONE was made a prefect) so now I have one, for an establishment of pure fiction but a hell of a lot of laughs in the meantime.
I miss Terry everyday, which is weird, as I have no relationship whatsoever with him as a person, but as I started off by saying, if it wasn’t for him, i’m not sure i’d still be around if I hadn’t got into the books so many years ago (more than 20 years now….that says something). I’m very lucky to have met such a great group of fellow fans, to have been introduced to such a world and to also have the knowledge that no-one can take away what he left for us.
One thing that I have decided though, is to look out for the last set of books to read, i’d deliberately left them and a very wise person told me that they are there to be read, and maybe I should relish in that and just bite the bullet. Just because after those, there will be no more new Pratchett maybe isn’t a bad thing, after all, there’s always the ripples he left behind to enjoy..