Have you read Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane? You should. It’s delightful. So delightful, in fact, the UK will soon have its own The Ocean at the End of the Lane lane.
The Portsmouth City Council is naming a road after Gaiman’s latest novel. “The author was born six miles north-west of Portsmouth in White Hart Lane, Portchester, and grew up in Purbook and then Southsea,” writes The Guardian. “The novel – the story of a seven-year-old boy who learns of the terrifying, wonderful universes that exist alongside our own – is set in the landscapes in which Gaiman grew up.”
And yes, the road will be at least pointing in the direction of water.
Portsmouth Guildhall will hold an event this weekend to commemorate the naming of the currently unnamed road. According to their website, “The bus lane, west of Canoe Lake, will be called ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’. The road naming ceremony will take place at 3pm in the afternoon where he will be hosted by the Lord Mayor and welcomed to do the official unveiling of The Ocean at the End of the Lane road sign.”
Cabinet minister Lee Hunt told the Guardian, “we want to encourage a love of literacy among our young residents, and with Neil’s global following, hopefully this new name will put Portsmouth on the book lover’s map,” while Gaiman said he was “gobsmacked, befuddled, delighted and baffled” at the news. “When you make things up, you never expect them to creep out into the real world.”
Let’s just hope the scary bits stay firmly planted on the page, sir.