Yahoo!!! Publication date for It Started With Paris in the US and a huge thanks to darling Elin Hilderbrand for saying it was 'a huge bear hug of a novel...' Honestly, not just is she beautiful, a mom, and a fabulous writer, but she's so kind too. Thank you to gorgeous Grand Central Publishing too!!! And Emily Griffin and Fareeda Bullert for all their help and kindness.
I have been away for a week in Spain wearing factor 100!! Yes, I know. Who knew it went up that high! But having a malignant melanoma makes you keen on the higher SPFs. I was also wearing fake tan... you have to sort of time these processes. It's like using that stuff that heats your skin when you have a sore neck and then putting on facial moisturiser after not washing your hands properly. It can go wrong. A hot, red face is nobody's idea of fun, I am telling you. And, also from experience, watch it with the hair-remover and the toothpaste... I mean, why all these tubes, right? A person can get confused at the bathroom counter when they're not wearing their glasses.
I love the South of Spain because I know it well and can drive happily on the wrong side of the road and am good with all the 'chica! What are you doing!' impatient hand gestures which makes me feel like I fit in when going round roundabouts while somebody tries to cut in on me. There must be a complex called Being Abroad Itis which makes a person try to fit in. I am totally on the spectrum. In France, I shrug and try to be Gallic, and in Spain, I toss my head (not too much in case my neck goes into spasm).
Last year in glorious Florida driving the nearest thing to a tank I am ever going to get (I don't know what sort of car it was but it was HUGE, like a Humvee with knobs on and which we got because there had been some mix up), I was all laid back and listening to classic radio and smiling happily. (This could have been because if anyone had hit our car, I wouldn't have felt the bump...) In Ireland, I listen to talk radio and drive in a benign way that implies I know I should have left twenty minutes ago (not ALL journeys take 30 mins, which is all I ever allow. Doh!) but hey, it's worth getting there late and alive rather than the alternative. See? Different attitudes depending on the place.
In Spain, John (now mahogany) golfed and myself and the boys went to the beach and I collected shells, people-watched and tried not to get second-degree burns from the sand. And I went to the markets... I never saw a market I didn't love. Or a small zippy bag I didn't love, or a piece of delicious hippie-ish jewellery I didn't love. Ooh, anyone yet invented some stuff to paint on nickel earrings to stop them driving your ears nuts? We used to use clear nail varnish to paint over the posts but science must have caught up, right? Those turquoise earrings are just killing me.
The boys tell me I am a sucker for the cheap jewellery (true) but it's the story behind it all that gets me. All it takes is for the lady to tell me it's been made in Nepal and I think of how devastated the region is, and how UNICEF are working so hard there with all the other agencies and the local people, and how many years it will be before local crafts people will be able to get their businesses running again, and I am holding open my purse. I read a lovely quote recently about how justice in every sense of the word is that we can't live happily and in peace if other people can't too.
The minus of being on holiday is I am soo behind with emails (v dodgy wifi where we were but I was trying to do the 'I am on holiday' thing) and people are going to kill me.
Finally, I had a wonderful visit yesterday from Nelly Ganancia and her husband, Laurent, and darling daughter, Clementine. Nelly has translated my last two books in French for the wonderful Presses De La Cite (I am afraid that if I try to swap the keyboard to do accents, I will kill this long blog...) and we had a glorious time. Murray, Dylan and I played with Clementine, who is simply adorable and was totally in charge. Plus, dear Nelly and Laurent brought me delicious jam AND organic honey from Miellerie de Saint Hugon, which is called Miel de Karma-ling!!! Honestly, the speed with which we are going through this. Merci, ma chere Nelly.
Oops, emails coming in... will add photo of honey (or empty honey jar...!!!!)
Love and hugs,