Tuesday, March 13, 2007

US TOUR 2007, DAY FIFTY-EIGHT:

Incredibly, Spring has now followed us to New York. Outside our hotel window, the Empire State Building towers overhead in brilliant sunshine.

We flew in yesterday from Pittsburgh, and from the clearest of blue skies had a fabulous view of Manhattan, tall buildings sprouting from a narrow strip of island that looks like it is anchored to the mainland by the bridges that span the waters to east and west.

The Statue of Liberty stood on her rock off the southern tip of this most densely populated of cities, and made me think of home - it was the French who gifted this powerful symbol of freedom to the Americans.

This is the final stop on our extraordinary two month adventure which has taken us from Seattle to San Diego, from Phoenix to Vegas, from Houston to Denver, from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh.

On Sunday we drove through the heart of Pittsburgh, following downloaded instructions from the internet, to the small town of Oakmont on the city's southern fringes. There, a gathering of fans had "Afternoon Tea with Peter May" at the Mystery Lovers' Bookshop. In fact we all sat around chatting, and I talked for the last time about where I had found my inspiration for both the China and French series.

La Patronne and I were pleased to see the store's owner, Mary Alice, looking so well after her recent illness, and delighted to hear that she and her husband, Richard, are hoping to come to France this fall.

Then it was back to our hotel with carry-out barbecue ribs and a bottle of wine,

And now to, NYC, where last night we met our American friend from France, artist Ellen Shire. Several paintings from Ellen's spectacular summer 2006 exhibition at Castelnau, near Bretenoux, are currently hanging in our house in France. Ellen had problems of storage for the winter, and having large, empty walls available, we offered our services as temporary keepers of the art - until the next exhibition or, even better, sale. It will be hard to let them go, come the time.

We had a great curry at the Indus Valley Indian restaurant on the upper west side with Ellen and her brother Peter - another artist. We negotiated our way there and back via the New York subway, our first attempt to navigate the island's subterranean transport system. And, well, the only thing we got wrong was swiping our cards too slowly - guess we're not up to speed yet.

So today is packed with signings and appointments. Three drop-by signings, lunch with my publisher, and a meeting with my agent. And tonight we'll spend our last night in a bed that is not our own. The draw of home is now nearly irresistible. Two months is a long time to be away.

A wave of fatigue washes over me when I realised that, well, we're going to have to do it all again next winter. And, of course, there is no rest for the wicked in between. A Paris radio station wants to do an interview with me on Thursday morning as I transit between airport and train station en-route for home. The following weekend I will be back in Paris for the salon du livre, folowed by a rencontre at a Paris bookstore. Then the weekend after that, it's the salon du livre at Limoges...

When will I ever find the time to write!

1 comment:

Le Beau Frere said...

You siad "adventure which has taken us from Seattle to San Diego, from Phoenix to Vegas, from Houston to Denver, from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh."
Not to mention Corona del Mar to Fresno just for some haggis!!!