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No Farewell to Leicester Square, but Au Revoir to Earls Court

15/12/2014 03:58 GMT | Updated 12/02/2015 10:59 GMT

Standing on a street corner far from Sunset Boulevard, near a stop on the District and Piccadilly lines and north of the Thames, memories of the lives and times which became Dear Miss Landau seem miles and years away. But then my fellow fans and I begin to shuffle forward towards the glass and steel gates of the comics convention, clinging to the corners of Earls Court exhibition centre like amiable worker ants well on the way to meet their queen.

My book's in the British Library, but it's only one among millions. My face is on the cover, though half-unseen, so I walk in line with my fellow travellers and together (Supermen, Spidermen and the odd Sontaran), we slowly gain entry to the hall.

There's quite a crush and pulp and mash of well-behaved people in gaudy costumes and bright colours channelling themselves between stands of memorabilia and pushing through to the celebrities' stances. As usual, I queue to see my dear Miss Landau and at last I reach the front.

There is, of course, a rose for the Rose. Later, a photo shoot dedicated to a fan from Kentucky. An invite to sit with the celebs and enjoy the feeling of family. And just in time, too. The air conditioning had packed up, and I'd been about to jack it in before I died of heatstroke.

Instead, I end up seated straight between Juliet Landau and a somewhat surprised Summer Glau.

I've fond memories of meeting William Russell, one of the first Doctor's first companions, and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles in Buffy); though I was not able to tell him I was like a real-life version of his character - an ex-rare books librarian who'd found a vampire for a flatmate and been pitched straight into the Slayer's world...

But then, at the last minute of the last day, a young lady from a library in Paignton recognizes the unseen author. It seems Dear Miss Landau is doing rather well down there, she's seen my photograph several times and I'm relieved I still look like my younger self. I talk and sign and talk some more, but the carnival, sadly, is over. Everyone's packing up and it's time to go.

It was a rare feeling to wake the morning after and feel that just for once the universe was in fine order. Sadder then to wake today and hear that C. Howard Crane's art deco creation was due for demolition and the chop.

On the face of it, Earls Court is a name and venue so synonymous with and representative of London that getting rid of it seems as silly an act as knocking down the Shard. That famed art deco frontage should at least be retained as part of the "super village" redevelopment.

It should be but I fear it won't, and I have a sneaking certainty that though these new homes will no doubt house their own domestic dramas, they will in no way replace the economic and cultural hub which went before.

For all the world's a stage, and Earls Court a stage for all the world.

James Christie is the author of Dear Miss Landau. He was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of autism, at the age of 37 in 2002. He lives in the Scottish Borders.

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