Friday, February 01, 2008


Okay. Here we go. On the road again. Day One, and it was grey, wet, cold and miserable as we closed the shutters and set off on the first leg of our World Tour of the US, 2008. Seven whole weeks ahead of us. Nearly twenty cities. Two books to promote. The new EnzoFiles tome, "The Critic", and the third of the China books, "The Killing Room".

Why the hell did I ever want to be a writer?

I watched rain-streaked France flash past the window of our carriage at the head of the train as we headed north towards Paris. Premiere Classe (no accents, cos turns them into mince).

In front of us was a grumpy bastard whom La Patronne had forced out of our seats. Well... you know... these are reservation-only trains. He was in our seats. Spread out across both of them. He wasn't pleased when asked to shift.

What is it with people that they can't sit in the damned seats they're reserved for? Seat anarchy on SNCF. It's a national pastime. Grrrr. A good start (not). He humphed and grumphed all the way to Paris. And the woman in the seat in front of him coughed and sneezed for four hours. It was all I could do to stop La Patronne storming up the aisle and spraying her with disinfectant.

I focused instead on my laptop, and the new book. Made a good start (yesss). 2000 words in the can, and a constructive opening to the story breakdown. It is set in a virtual world - in which I have spent much of the last few months. In there the sun always shines. So it was a reality check to see the rain streaming down the windows and feel the cold eating its way into my bones.

Paris was grim. Miles of grafitti as the train approached Austerlitz. Railways lines always make their way through the most decayed tracts of a city. Paris is no different. And a miserable, yellow-grey February light didn't help.

Neither did our taxi driver. Scariest airport run in twenty years!

He was watching a film as he weaved his way at speed through the traffic choking the autoroute north to Charles de Gaulle. A DVD-powered screen on his dash. An old Alan Ladd film set in the time of King Arthur and the Round Table. I watched the driver's eyes in the rearview mirror as they dipped back and forth to the screen.

Brings a whole new meaning to the word "movie"?

In the distance I saw Montmartre, the Sacre Coeur thrusting up through the mist and rain, before we left the Peripherique, and the airport emerged from the rain.

And so now, here we are, in a hotel within spitting distance of the terminal. A 300 euro a night room, acquired somehow by La Patronne for a mere 99. No sooner had we checked in than I descended to the hotel gymnasium to catch up on the workout I had missed this morning. I've been going daily for two months now. Watching my diet, trying to get myself in shape for the tour.

Lost a stone. Which is fourteen pounds for the uninitiated. Or just over 6 kilos, if you live anywhere in the civilised world. La Patronne has managed half as much again.

She was almost tempted into the hotel swimming pool until she read the blurb. A disposable swimming costume was available. One use only. And we had crazy images of exploding swimming suits. "Your mission, should you accept it, is to swim in our pool. Your swimming costume will self-destruct in five lengths."

Hummmm. could be messy!

Oh, well. Up early tomorrow. On a plane by ten. In LA by one (local time). Into the arms of our very own darling Susie.

Can't wait!


Carol and Chris said...

Take a deep breath and repeat after me

It can only get better
It can only get better
It can only get better

C x

Angel said...

"Made a good start (yesss). 2000 words in the can, and a constructive opening to the story breakdown."
Now that does sound interesting ;)