Saturday, February 23, 2008


Wow! What an event. Sixty people crushed into the bookstore, drinking Gaillac wines and loving them, laughing at all the right places during my talk, buying lot of books. I think perhaps this was the best single event I've had in three US tours.

And to top it all, three delightful people - lawyer Mark Radcliffe, his wife Dianne, and their friend Anne - took La Patronne, Susie and I to dinner at a fabulous French restaurant a couple of blocks away from Ed Kaufman's M is for Mystery bookstore in San Mateo.

That was after Ed had wheeled out trolley after trolley of books for me to sign - many of them pre-ordered.

San Mateo is just south of San Francisco, in the beautiful Bay Area. We drove down in glorious sunshine, the jagged peaks of islands and headlands silhouetted against dazzling water, shredding the incoming cloud. And as we drove across the Bay Bridge, we had an extraordinary view of San Francisco itself, climbing and falling around all those steeply pitched hills. In the distance we saw the Golden Gate Bridge, spanning the bay away to the north.

It was nearly midnight as we headed back the same way in the dark, the lights of the city reflecting in the black expanse of water below.

Fifteen hours earlier, I had dragged myself from my bed to do a radio interview by phone with John DeMers for his "Delicious Mischief" radio show in Houston, Texas. Originally I was to have appeared live on the show on Saturday, March 1st. But he will be out of town that day, and so was pre-recording all the segments.

John is a great guy. It was the third time I've been on his show. He makes it so easy just to chat. Here's what he says about the upcoming transmission on his blog:

Many wine lovers complain these days that one or two wine critics exercise too much power over the wines that get made and marketed. Yet it’s a safe bet most of us have never considered knocking one of these guys off. That is precisely the premise of Peter May’s brand-new mystery “The Critic,” which he joins us to discuss. What’s more, the Scots-born May now lives in France and has done extensive research (a.k.a. drinking) into the wines of Gaillac for his page-turning novel.

Today we will try to make it into San Francisco for what's known as the "Crushpad Mashup" - an annual event where you can taste more than 300 different barrel samples of wine from 50 vineyards, alongside the people who are growing the grapes and making the wine. This will be a stop for us, in 3rd Street, en route to tonight's book event at the Book Passage bookstore in Corte Madera - right across the bay from San Francisco.

The only worry is the weather forecast. There's a big storm coming in off the Pacific. Heavy rain and high winds predicted. It could be a dark and stormy night!

* A footnote to the event in San Mateo. A charming lady called Milene Rawlinson, who has become a regular at my events there, arrived with an internet printout for me - a sequence of photographs depicting the current state of readiness in Beijing for this summer's Olympic Games. They made me laugh out loud. So here are a few examples. Enjoy!!

1 comment:

Carol and Chris said...

LOL at the photo's Dad!!

Glad everything is going so well.

C x