Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Last Beer in Matosinhos

My flight was paid for, so was a hotel room for five days, my taxi fares, all my food and drink. All I had to do in return was give one talk that lasted less than twenty minutes. I was treated extremely well in Matosinhos. Every night sozzled on fine wine, stuffed with good food, I occasionally paused to think about the life of the conference delegate. I don't know exactly how much I consumed for free during my stay but it was surely hundreds of euros' worth. The lugubrious faces of phantom tax payers drifted past...

I had the great honour of being photographed by Daniel Mordzinksi. Above, you see me standing with my own portrait. Is that doubly narcissistic? I hope so. Mordzinski specialises in photographing writers. His style is humorous but profound. His exhibition at the conference was quirky and fascinating. He is famous but modest and charming. The other delegates included Pedro Mota, Karla Suarez, Adriana Lisboa, Cristina Ali Fateh, John Lantigua and many others. And there was excellent music from Vitorino.

The weather wasn't as good as I'd hoped but yesterday I did manage to get in one beach walk and one beach run. That was before the debauchery. One Portuguese writer said to me, "You're Welsh, you're a writer, it's already 8 pm. Why in hell aren't you drunk yet?". I didn't want to disappoint him... My last beer was in a beach bar early in the morning. I woke with a hangover and just made it to the airport on time. Now I'm back in Spain!

I'm glad you enjoyed yourself!!
The weather does seem to be playing with us but we have a saying "Abril Chuvas Mil" it means a thousand rains in April...
"Littérature en voyage"?
As a reader, the "voyage" was very much a figure of speech! :(
But if we could all sail away, readers and writers, that would be "littérature en voyage". Maybe next ear, matosinhos?
The life of a conference delegate sounds a little delicious. I've just been reading of similar suffering in another writer's book :)

I enjoyed your cafebabel interview.
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