Here I am in Rio, staying in the lovely house of Merche - sister of John Clark. I arrived last night after an exhausting flight. The travelling went OK. The flight to Madrid seemed like a short hop in comparison to the 10 hours plus of the flight across the South Atlantic.
Air travel normally has the effect of compressing distance, but when you look out of a window and see the ocean, and then look out four hours later and it's still ocean, you begin to appreciate just how vast it is.
We were late taking off from Madrid and it took an age to get through customs and passport control at Rio, so Merche was kept waiting as she she had kindly come to pick me up. We had never met and she was sweetly holding a copy of Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror so I would recognise her.
Merche's family have been incredibly friendly and we ate pizza before I collapsed into my very comfortable bed in my air-conditioned ensuite bedroom. I woke at six (ten in UK time) and it was sunny. I mooched about until the rest of the house woke up, joined them for coffee and toast and then went for a walk on the beach with Merche and her dog, Charlie, but it started to rain and we came back.
I was taken for a meal at a restaurant were waiters keep appearing at your side with different cuts of different kinds of meat. It was very good - though I realised afterwards that I had not eaten any vegetables at all. It was just meat, meat and, oh go on then, more meat. I did have a bit of fruit in the form of a fearsome lime and rum cocktail. Mimi Liang joined us from the British School and it was nice to see her again. She has been my point of contact with the school all along.
From there we drove through the rain to the signing at Livraria da Travesso. I did sign some books, but the rain had kept people away (or at least that was what I clung to as an excuse). I did get to meet Adriana Sardinha from Rocco though and she was great. I hope the Rocco edition does well for us both. It has just come out.
And I got to meet a comic book writer called Estevão Ribeiro, who gave me a couple of his comics. One is called Contos Tristes (Sad Tales). I have never done a signing and come away with someone else's books. It was good to meet you Estavão. Thanks for coming along.