I've just returned from a 3 - week trip to the UK to visit family, taking in Paris, London Cardiff and a brief stop in San Francisco airport. After 10 years, my impression of the UK was - what recession? There are more retail outlets than ever, with a constant stream of people emerging from them laden with bags of 'bargains'.
A new phenomenon was the ubiquitous Apple Store where people seem to just stand around in huge numbers gently stroking Ipad screens. A bit like a nightclub but without the booze. Or dim lighting. Or music. No one seemed to be successful though. Not one person seemed to be leaving having actually secured the services of the aforementioned Ipad. They are, after all, not a cheap date.
The other trend I encountered was the apparent insatiable appetite for German cars. The M3, M25 and M4 motorways were choked with a seemingly endless variety of Mercedes and BMW's, with a few Audis and frequent VWs thrown in as well. I swear the same sporty black Merc kept lapping me on the M25.
In book news, I took a few copies of Milkshake to give to friends and relatives. I decided it would be a bit of fun to leave my last copy in the departure lounge of Terminal 3 at Heathrow.
I wrote inside asking the finder to pass the book on when they'd finished and note their brief possesion on the Milkshake facebook page So I sat down, carefully placed the book on the empty chair next to me and then waited until the cleaners had passed by before walking away.It felt a bit like one of those subtle document drops you see in spy movies. Only later did I remember that the opening chapter is actually set in a Heathrow departure lounge in 2002.
The sequel to Milkshake is currently with 4 beta readers, one of whom has already given me plenty of feedback to work on now I'm back in front of a proper PC rather than a netbook which seems to have about 20 minutes battery life before needing re-charging.
Incidentally, it was nice to see how many locations offering free wifi also offered the chance to re-charge laptops etc free of charge.
I'm off to start work on amending the first draft of TheDestiny Stone. It's 6.40am and I've already been up for 2 hours thanks to jet lag!