I'm in London for a few days before Dublin. I'm going to be in this city more often. Heathrow immigration took just 2 minutes this morning.
It was minus 1 degree celsius when I arrived!
I feel strange somewhat after my roller-coaster weather ride. :-)
Came to my regular airport hotel. Lots of good acquaintances here, just like Africa and Dubai. After my few adventures, England feels safe and homey.
Next week, I'll
a) post the full interview with Margaret Atwood which took almost an hour at the Emirates Festival for Literature, as she talked on various subjects. We were also treated to novels signed with her Long Pen, an invention, demonstrated to us with good humour from her study. b) the talks on the plight of Novel-Writing in Saudi Arabia - and the bans which often come with the subject - an event which proved comical and theatrical as some Arab writers got highly annoyed with each other and tempers became frayed. They were emotional and intense about what they believed to be true of their own works.
c) More on Rajaa al Sanea, bestselling novelist for Girls of Riyadh
d) the interview with American-Iranian novelist/dancer Anita Amirezzvani by charismatic BBC radio personality, John Blezard.
e) the painstaking life of the translator as you could never imagine.
d) What the Middle-East's most distinguished translator Denys Johnson-Davis shared with me on famous Egyptian writers of the past.
e) Khalid-al-Khamis, a young handsome Egyptian novelist, recently popular for the bestselling Taxi a collection of short tales from the streets of Cairo.
f) Kate Mosse and Victoria Hislopp.
g) Wilbur Smith.
h) Frank McCourt and Chimamanda Adichie, although here I tend to agree with what Joseph Ridgewell (The Bomber) once mercilessly remarked on the Guardian Books Blog about Adichi and the Orange Prize for Fiction.
and more as and when.
PS: By the way, new airport terminals are massive. It's a very long way to walk to Abu Dhabi's new terminal 3 but walk one must. Rows of new duty-free stores are set up at this brand new terminal where all the connections to Britain and Ireland are placed. The thing is you get off first at Terminal 1 but then are required to transfer to Terminal 3. I daresay, it's longer even than Dubai's vast new terminal.