Tuesday, March 06, 2007


We were in the "HIgh Crimes" bookstore in Pearl Street, Boulder, in the shadow of the Flatirons. There was a great turn-out. I was talking about genetically modified foods, and one biotech company's attempts to create a freezable tomato by inserting a gene from a flounder (which can live in extremely low temperatures on the sea bed).

A handsome lady in the front row, who had read all my books, leaned forward and said, "I thought for a moment you were going to tell us they had inserted a flounder gene into our present administration." There was a round of hearty laughter, and I knew then why they call it The People's Republic of Boulder.

Of course, as an "etranger" in their midst, it was not for me to comment.

But I like Boulder. It has the feel of a self-contained community, a vibrant university town in a fabulous setting. We went into the Hotel Boulderado to view the fabulous arched ceiling of coloured glass in the lobby. We walked through elegent streets which, though modern, still retain something of the original character of the place. There remains a sense of its history and heritage.

The lady who made the flounder remark was there with her husband. I was flattered to learn that he had bought her "Extraordinary People" for her birthday. Then, apparently, she had been disappointed to learn that it wasn't the next book in the China series. She is writing a book about China, and France did not have the same appeal. But she'd read it anyway and, I'm happy to report, was won over. She is now looking forward enthusiastically to the next.

In Boulder, one is spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants. But we went, with Charles and Marilyn, to eat in the same place we ate the last time I was here. "The Mediterranean". And I got just about the best pizza I've ever had - wafer-thin parma ham, and fig, and garlic... Hmmmmm. All washed down with a Penfold's Shiraz. Urgggghhhgurgle.

And so we headed back through a clear night, towards a full moon rising, snow-capped peaks glistening away to the west. This had been Day Fifty. Tomorrow it's "Murder by the Book" in Denver, followed by Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and New York City.

We're on the home straight, with the finish line in sight. But our legs aren't buckling yet. Because it's still fun.

Addressing the good people of Boulder...


Anonymous said...

Peter May's lexical flexibility never ceases to amaze...

A few days ago we had "Coruscating" and today he brings us "Urgggghhhgurgle"!

Keep making us giggle.


Ian & Hilary

Carol and Chris said...

I knew you had one of those toilet rolls......