Tuesday, February 05, 2008


A woman with the largest breasts on the smallest body came strutting past, thrusting her silicone assets ahead of her, cleaving a path through the fetid air of the gymansium. Her hair was a dyed uniform black. Her face had a shiny, fixed smile. It would be hard to say she was attractive. But she was compulsive viewing.

And she was not alone. The gym was filled with women in search of immortality. And pot-bellied men paying lip service to fitness, reclining in cushioned apparatus, reading newspapers and magazines, while bronzed stick legs pumped pedals, in apparently disconnected sycnhronisation with the rest of them.

These were the beautiful people of Orange County sweating their way through the first hour of the day, hoping to spend their remaining waking hours drawing looks of admiration and approval. And there was me, amongst them, fighting off the advancing years, trying to maintain the momentum of the last few months. Sweating off the jetlag.

Susie had taken me to her local gymnasium and acquired for me a two-week free trial membership. The staff were friendly, courteous and extraordinarily helpful. And even remembered my name an hour later when I retired, puce-faced, from the fray.

I love California. And today was the classic Southern Californian day. The sun was shining brilliantly in the clearest of blue skies, the breeze blowing in off the ocean to stir the foliage of tall swaying palm trees. People wore shorts and shades and smiled, and said Hi, how are you today? And I thought of home, where the temperature dips well below zero each night, and folk are swaddled in dark winter jackets and hats and scarves, and will not find their smiles again till the first Spring sunshine melts the frost on the wall. And I knew where I would rather be right now.

Just chilling in the sunshine, working on the new book, and preparing for the campaign trail across America - and I'm not talking about the Primaries (though Super Tuesday will form the basis of tonight's entertainment). I'm talking about the more than 20 events that loom ahead, from San Diego in the far south-west, to Rochester in the frozen north-east, when I have to stand up day after day in front of audiences large and small and sell myself and my books.

Here's the schedule: PETER MAY'S US TOUR 2008

The things a writer has to do to make a living!

PS: While I'm treading blog water until the start of the tour, I'm going to write a piece about how I approach the storylining and structure of my books. Look out for it!

No comments: