Thursday 11th February 2010
The last day! I'm getting tired, I don't know how other authors do those incredibly long tours you hear about. At least in the UK you get small breaks during the day - if you go to other countries they pack every second with work - once I was even interviewed on a connecting flight. It's truly exhausting and takes a good week to recover from. This has been much more gentle, with much more chance to talk to readers and to the staff in the bookshops.
Today I've been in the west country visiting various places in Bristol and to Bath. I dropped in at Toppings in Bath which used to be my local bookshop. I'm very fond of the place - the staff are marvellous and it's got a great atmosphere. You can just pop in and have a cup of coffee, browse, have a chat. And increasingly it seems to be doing dual service as my personal publicity studio - last week I filmed a section for Sky TV in there, and today I sat in the back room - the arts room - and did a radio interview down the line with the BBC. Then off we went to my last signing session, in Salisbury. Someone told me that the cathedral is on a flood plain and therefore is built on a series of rafts made from rush. I've never actually found out if that's true, but whenever I'm in Salisbury I always feel a little ill at ease - as if might shift at any moment. Fortunately it didn't happen tonight, we got out alive. Does anyone know if this raft thing is a myth?
Anyway - I'm going to sign off now, thanks for stopping in on this tour by proxy. Hello to all the fascinating people I've met on the road. Back now to my four walls - wish me luck.