Home again, home again, jiggity-jig...

There are some really good things about going on tour:

  1. You get to meet people who read books. This may sound daft, but when you spend all your days sat on your arse in front of a computer screen, it's nice to actually interact with people you haven't made up.
  2. You get to have dinner and drinkies with other people what do write stuff for a living. Only are proper successful writers and stuff.
  3. You get to be all wanky and say things like, "When I was on tour in Kirkintilloch..."
  4. You get to hear about the tattoos some strange people have on their sinful, trans-gender trouser parts, and how they're afraid of spoons and licked library books.
  5. You get the chance to actually read books for a change, instead of just writing the damn things!

Of course, the downside to all this is that the opportunity to read those books only exists because you're stuck in a sodding train for twenty eight hours every day. Either that or hanging around on railway station platforms watching the rain piss down.

The trouble with trying to read on public transport is: OTHER PEOPLE! Most of whom are actually OK, and keep pretty much to themselves. It's the other ones who roast my toasties, like the family of delightful little bastards who boarded the train two stops after Newcastle with their brace of screaming children.

Now before you go getting all 'don't be so Victorian' on me, I'm not saying that children should be seen and not heard, OK? I'm saying they shouldn't be seen either. If you're travelling with something that looks like a homunculus made of bogies and sounds like a foghorn with its goolies trapped in a cutlery drawer, would it really hurt you to put it in some sort of soundproof crate for the duration of the journey? Or they could put on special noisy carriages, where all the screaming, shouting, yelling and hollering could be done far away from everyone else.

I should also point out, that the train from Newcastle was nearly empty, and I was sitting in the 'quiet' carriage. I put 'quiet' in ironic quotes -- did you notice that? Before shouty, screamy family it didn't need them. Surely if you've got two small, very bored, very noisy kids you should be sitting in the 'noisy fuckers' carriage, not the quiet one. Unless, that is, you're looking for a nice calm atmosphere so you can really appreciate the deafening din your bastard offspring from hell make.

And even better, the sons-and-daughters-of-bitches decided given the whole -- mostly empty -- carriage to choose from, that they'd sit right behind me, where Deafening Daughter Daisy (3) could play with the back of my sodding seat while she was impersonating a yodelling badger on steroids.


Worse yet: I was reading BURIED by some bloke called Billingham. And may I just take this opportunity to call him a complete and utter bastard. You know, sometimes I get lulled into a false sense of security and think that when I'm having a pint with people like Mark I'm hanging with my peers. Only I'm not. BURIED just goes to show that Mr Billingham is in a completely different league. The rotten sod.

Now I'm going to have to go through the edit on Book Number The Fourth trying desperately hard to pull my socks up. And even then I doubt it's going to come close.

I held off buying BURIED because I wanted a signed copy from Mr B before I started in on it. If you haven't read it yet: what's your excuse?

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