Saturday 15th May, Redhill, England.
Crikey, are the days disappearing! Yesterday, I spent the entire day on the internet, clawing my way up to date with emails and contacting potential hosts in Spain and Portugal. Even though it may be a month or more before I hit Europe, I don't thin k I'll be wanting to spend my time in Morocco trying to set up places to stay.
I've finished the painting at Pam and John's. They're back from their holiday, and seem to be very happy with the job I did, so much so that they've invited me to stay with them until I leave England on Tuesday. As I write this I'm on the train back to Redhill from London- the advantage of this new computer with a two hours battery! I've spent the last couple of hours yarning with Peter Moore, the travel writer. We met on Tottenham Court Road, since I had to go there anyway to return my CD drive *again*. The pub we'd arranged to meet at wasn't open at ten o'clock in the morning, so we sat at a table outside a coffee shop, siping capuccinos and swapping stories of our worst travel experiences/ best travel experiences, and in general discussing what it's like to be a travel writer. I could learn a lot from Peter. He's promoting his fifth book at the moment, and is busy writing his sixth, titled 'Crikey', the story of his travels around his home country Australia, with his new English bride.
We touched on a lot of subjects, homesickness being one of them. I asked Peter if he gets homesick, which is a rhetorical question really, because I'm sure everyone does, to some extent. He said he goes through a cycle when he's travelling, where homesickness hits him in some form or another roughly every three months. I was speechless. That is exactly what I've discovered about myself, and anyone who knows me well wil have heard me say so. *I'm not just making this shit up, so I can be like Peter Moore* It's not that I sit around watching the calendar, thinking "Ooh, I'm almost up to the six month mark. Must be time to feel homesick again!" It's just the way it happens. Whenever I find myself feeling fed up with travel, and just generally down and homesick, you can bet it's more or less three months since I last felt that way. Eerie!
THE ABOVE BOOKS ARE LINKED TO AMAZON.CO.UK
I've read so much of his writing that this morning felt more like catching up with an old mate, than meeting a famous writer. I could have stayed and chatted for hours, but both of us felt a little uncomfortable after a passing pedestrian left a huge suitcase next to the lamp post, and kept walking! I notified the staff in the coffee shop, and Peter and I beat a hasty retreat down the street. I still hadn't got a photo with Peter, so I asked a guy if he'd take a photo of us in front of a couple of motor scooters. When the guy saw me holding Peter's latest book, he asked if one of us was the author.
"He is" I said, pointing to Peter, "he just rode around Italy on a forty year old Vespa!"
"I know" he replied, "I heard him on the radio this morning!"
Crikey, the guy really is famous!
So I've stopped at the internet cafe in Croydon, but can't stay and chat. Phyllida and Eleanor are having a barbecue this evening, and I want to try to visit Mai before then. Gotta go. Three more sleeps!