At the end of May, it was off to Belgium with Barry Cunningham, to launch The Look and a couple of other Chicken House books in Flanders. Turns out Flanders has a thriving book trade. Didn’t know this. Do now.

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It also has fabulous food. I did know this, and Barry and I sampled quite a lot of it during the 36 hours we were there. Our buffet tables were even decorated with chickens. That’s what I call attention to detail. (I really took a fancy to the green one, but was too well-behaved to steal it, tempting though it was at the time.)

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After a day of soaking up the gorgeous cross-Channel sun, meeting loads of lovely booksellers, eating, reading (in English) and listening to a presentation on the next Belgian bestsellers (in Flemish), it was back to the airport at dawn, to make it to Wales in time to perform at Hay. Did I mention I had to get up at dawn? Actual. Dawn.

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Worth it, though. It was a very strange and lovely day.


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