I'm writing this in the Aeroflot First Class lounge. It has luxurious seats and fast wifi and absolutely bugger all else in the way of nice things for international passengers. This has cheered me up immensely: I'd asked to fly Aeroflot because I'd heard so many horror stories from people who had flown it, and always felt vaguely left out. And even though I am doing this leg on my publisher's dime and am thus doing international business class, which probably spoils the point of it, I thought I should definitely go Aeroflot.
I wrote about going to the Oscars in today's Guardian. It's up at http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/mar/25/neil-gaiman-oscars-coraline
and the lovely photograph I mention at the end is at
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-oscar-red-carpet-mcadams-theron-pano,0,7005862.htmlstory although I was touched, amused, and just a tiny bit disappointed to see that I now am actually named in the caption of the LA Times photo. It was funnier when I wasn't.
It's 10:06 am and the men next to me are doing vodka shots.
I did more Vodka shots in the last three days than in the previous lifetime. Mostly because my Russian hosts were convinced that it was the cure for the flu-cold-thing I arrived with from Poland. I suspect that they would also have pitched Vodka as a cure for anything else I had arrived with, including broken limbs, heartbreak or psoriasis.
(Last night was Horseradish Vodka at a Russian Restaurant, which was guaranteed to clear my chest and sinuses. And it may well have done.)
For the record, the very best potato latkes I've ever had were in Poland.
There's a roundup of the New Zealand Festival from a book perspective at http://www.booksellers.co.nz/book-news/trade-news/new-zealand-post-writers-and-readers-festival-success-many-levels
There's a great blog (in Polish, but with many photos) by the beautiful, talented, intelligent and sweet people who translate this blog into Polish, of photos and background on my Polish trip with Amanda last week: http://neilgaiman-pl.blogspot.com/ with their entries at http://neilgaiman-pl.blogspot.com/2010/03/neil-i-amanda-w-polsce-dzien-drugi-neil.html,
http://neilgaiman-pl.blogspot.com/2010/03/neil-gaiman-w-warszawie-galeria.html and http://neilgaiman-pl.blogspot.com/2010/03/neil-i-amanda-w-polsce-dzien-pierwszy.html
(Here's my Polish Publisher's page for their beautiful edition of Odd and the Frost Giants.)
I'm putting up the blog-translators photos here (one of me, one of me and them) to say thanks. This blog is intermittently translated into lots of different languages, always by volunteers, and I'm always grateful.
Let's see.... Michael Swanwick has received his advanced copy of STORIES. And they've just announced boarding.
I go. More later, when I come to land.