Everything’s happening in Melbourne this weekend. The Grand Prix kicks off, as does the football league and the Comedy Festival, not to mention the Flower and Garden Festival AND the Food and Wine Festival. Yep indeedy, this city is buzzing. People have come from miles around to be a part of it. But mostly, and I don’t think I’m wrong here, they’ve come to see ME.
Sure, we couldn’t fit ALL of them into the events and book signings, but we tried our best, and I got to meet a whole bunch of weirdoes.
Readers. I mean READERS. Ahem.
Some of them came dressed up as favourite characters. There were plenty of Skulduggerys and Valkyries, a few Taniths, one memorable Ghastly, and two or three Cleavers. There were even, bizarrely enough, two very special girls who came dressed as the Canary Car and the Purple Menace. It’s not often you meet people who are willing to walk the streets of a major city dressed as cars, and I am honoured I got that chance.
Then there was the lad who came dressed as the Grotesquery, wrapped in toilet paper/bandages. The amusing thing is, this wasn’t the first time he’d worn that outfit. He had turned up at the store a few weeks earlier, wandered in dressed as this horrible monster, and became curious as to why no one else seemed to be wearing a costume. His father, it seemed, had got the date wrong.
He’d turned up on the wrong day. In fancy dress. Oh how I laughed.
The second time around, however, he WON the fancy dress competition, and got a Nintendo DS for his trouble.
I still laughed, of course.
This tour has been staggering. I swear, if my ego wasn’t already at maximum level, this would have pushed it up there. The enthusiasm from the readers and the librarians and teachers and bookstore folk has been jaw-dropping.
But I am tired. Oh, I am tired. I’m heading to New Zealand tomorrow, and then two days later I’m going home. HOME. To Ireland, where the weather is sensibly Irish, where I can pet my dogs and kick my cats and poke my nieces with sharpened sticks. Where I can play video games and watch DVDs and buy comics and talk on the phone without each call costing a fortune. Where I can SLEEP IN, and spend all day alone if that is what I want to do. Where I can drive MYSELF anywhere I want to go, and not be DRIVEN in lovely cars and waited on and indulged and have everything paid for and… and…
Actually, this tour hasn’t been bad at all. In fact, I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to adjust to normal life after this. Jordan, my pretty Australian publicist, has basically been running my life for the past twelve days. She tells me where to go, what to do, and what time to do it at, and I do it. She brings me from place to place, consulting the sacred ITINERARY every step of the way. Every so often there is a gap in the Itinerary which says “Leisure Time”, where Jordan leaves me by myself. I think she assumes that I go to my hotel room and answer emails or write or sleep or relax- but actually I have completely forgotten how to behave when she isn’t around, so I stand in the same spot for an hour or so, terrified, until Leisure Time is over and she returns to me to take my hand and guide me to our next appointment.
I’m fairly certain that when I go back to normal life I’ll have to go through a few days of standing around looking perplexed, waiting for someone to tell me what to do. I’m not sure I’ll like it very much.
I’ve taken a few pictures while I’ve been over here, so as soon as I figure out how to post them in this accursed blog, I shall do so, and you shall see some blurry, indistinct images and you shall marvel at my photograph-taking ability. It will be AMAZING. Or possibly not.
For those of you who care, my dogs are doing well, according to Laura. Apart from Sherlock, who managed to sprain his ankle. I’ve never heard of a dog spraining his ankle before, but Sherlock somehow managed it. Frankly, I’m stunned. I never thought he’d move fast enough to sprain ANYTHING. I haven’t heard anything about the cats.
And that’s it, another blog over with. You may weep.