I know that nipping to the Netherlands for dinner was extravagant, but hardly more expensive than a taxi across London (I justify the carbon footprint by pointing out that I never drive anywhere and don’t have children) but an evening in Amsterdam, or what Fox News’s sad, bitter Bill O’Reilly calls ‘The cesspool of Europe’ (see my photo above for shocking proof of sin city), was great fun.Â No prostitutes, gouda, tulips or Delftware was involved, although I did somehow wind up with a pair of clogs (no escaping them) and waited patiently while friends visited a cafe for killer doobies that left them vague and giggly for half an hour.
Our friends there have teen and post-teen daughters with whom they casually joke about sex and drugs, and this seems to me the responsible, adult way of parenting in a city which was once seen as the mad old hippy of Europe, and has now reached a relatively elegant balance of independence and commercialism, marred only by the odd influx of drunken shrieking hen parties.
Back in London, I open my mail to find my editor’s notes for the new Â Bryant & May novel ‘The Bleeding Heart’, plus my agent’s notes for my new supernatural thriller ‘Nyctophobia’ AND readers’ notes for my suspense thriller ‘There’s Something I Haven’t Told You’.Â As a result, I’m heading for Barcelona tomorrow to work through the nights for a week, in order to clear my backlog.
Looking around airports, I note that I’m far from the only person taking this back & forth approach to European locations. It seems a lot of mums and kids, teens, seniors and members of the business community are choosing to spend their hard-earned cash not on objects but travel. With the arrival of the first good news about Europe’s economy in around three years, I’m hoping that stale book sales in the depressed economies pick up enough for me to sell overseas editions again.
It doesn’t mean I’ll be neglecting the UK, though – I’ll be posting a number of new PAs and signings here for the busy autumn season shortly.