We were soon met by a family who asked us for drinks and asked us to join them for Thanksgiving dinner at their palatial villa. In thanking them, I said something about the joy of such generosity, family closeness, and children’s politeness. It’s because we’re from the South, she said. It won’t be the same in Chicago.
After almost two months away, we are back home in Queen Mary 2. Cunard is proud to own the last remaining true ocean liner. It’s not a cruise ship that takes thousands of gamblers to and fro, it’s a stately ship that sails from port to port. But one night, I got embarrassed at a karaoke bar, so I can’t tell the difference.
I was one of the writers invited to the Maritime Literature Festival, co-hosted by Cunard with the Cheltenham Literature Festival. So we were hobnobbing with Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith and his 30 or so very famous authors.
I always enjoy literary festivals, but sometimes they are humiliating. Often times, my queue at book signings is embarrassingly small, and queues for more popular authors circle the block.JoJo Moyes and Rachel Joyce have sold 38 million and 5 million novels, respectively. So I was lucky not to share a signature table with either of them.
Rereading this eight-week travel log shows just how spoiled we’ve been. Roku, the streaming service that hosts The Great American Baking Show, took us to the Ritz-Carlton in Central Park while I did radio and press interviews. In Los Angeles, my stage show promoter billed the Culver Hotel. After that, John and I thought he had earned a week’s vacation in Florida. And finally, her seven nights at Queen Mary 2 were funded by the Cheltenham Literary Festival.
So, dear readers, lest you think I’ve completely lost touch with reality, we fly pilots, stay in some pretty miserable motels, eat a lot of horrible junk, Let’s just say I got a hole in my favorite eco-felt shoes.
Prue Leith’s show Nothing In Moderation has been on tour since February 1st. micperrin.com For more information