Just returned from the Hong Kong Book Fair – and look how seriously they take it. Here I am on a pillar – a first. Can you believe that the Fair gets a million visitors a year? Speaks highly of the interest in literature on the island. Loved walking in the rain in that post-event euphoria, eating prawn fritters from shacks at the side of the road. I was supposed to be doing three gigs, but the third, with travel writer Tim Moore, was cancelled because of a Signal Eight typhoon warning (the Observatory gives out ‘signal warnings’ if a tropical cyclone approaches within 500 miles of Hong Kong, the lowest signal being one, the highest ten). The hotel put notices under our doors telling us to stay inside and keep away from windows. Tim and I got very excited at the prospect of drama, notebooks in hand, but in the end the typhoon passed Hong Kong by.
Btw, Tim’s latest book, The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold, is v. funny. Take a look at his video on YouTube.
The music he picked is epic, isn’t it?
While in Hong Kong I made a pilgrimage, courtesy of journalist Hong Kong Kate, to the fabled Foreign Correspondents Club. One of my heroines, Clare Hollingworth, was there every day until she died this year aged 107 – she had her own chair. CH got the scoop of the century when she spotted tanks on the German-Polish border, and she broke the news of the second war in the Telegraph. She was a pioneer who lit the way for the rest of us toiling on the lower slopes.