Tuesday 11th May, Redhill, England.

Tonight I met one of my heroes. My favourite travel author, Peter Moore, is in the UK (he's an Aussie) promoting his latest book with a series of talks and book-signings at local bookstores. When I took off up north, I didn't think I'd be able to catch him, but since I returned a little earlier than expected, there was still one chance to meet the great man and have him sign a copy of his latest book for me. I later realized I'd have to actually buy the book for this to work. Doh!

He was meetng his fans at seven o'clock this evening in Ottakar's bookstore in Guildford. Well, Guildford is where Mai has been having her radiotherapy every day, so when my boss' son took her to hospital in the afternoon, I went along for the ride. Actually, I wanted to talk to her doctors as well, and see if I could sort out a few things to make her treatment a little more bearable for her. By the time I left the hospital, I'd conferred with three radiologists and a doctor, and Mai was kitted out with new improved anti-nausea drugs, new pain killers (morphine baby, yeah!) and a few useful tips and suggestion to help her through these last few days of treatment, and get her on the way to a speedy recovery.

There was just enough time to scoff down a Burger King kiddie's meal, and make it to the bookstore in time to grab a free glass of wine before Peter started his talk. There were about thirty guests gathered around in a semi circle of chairs. Peter introduced himself, and thanked us all for coming to meet him. He peered through the heads in front of me and said "Are you Stephen Savage?" Now, Peter and I have exchanged several emails since I started planning this trip, and he's given me some helpful advice, but I didn't expect him to pick me out of a crowd.
Cool as I could, I said "Yeah mate, that's me." Then Peter introduced me to everyone. I believe it went something like this:
"Steve has a fantastic website called The Savage Files, and he's halfway through travelling around the world with no money." I smiled and demonstrated to the crowd just how many different shades of crimson my face can paint itself, before Peter thankfully took everyone's attention again.

His latest book is called Vroom With A View It's the story of his travels around Italy on a forty year old Vespa. That's a small motor scooter for anyone who doesn't know. I gladly bought a copy, and had my hero sign it. It'll make some good reading in Morocco, the toughest thing being resisting the urge to read it now!

Peter's previous books include:
* No Shitting In The Toilet- a travel guide for when you've really lost it
* The Wrong Way Home- Peter's overland trip from London to Australia, via all the wrong places!
* The Full Montezuma- Dragging the 'girl next door' around South America
* Swahili For The Brokenhearted- Retreating to Africa to recover from a broken heart at the hands of the GND (girl next door)

0553814516. The travel guide for when you've really lost it! So far, only Peter's first book is available at Amazon.com but all four are for sale on Amazon.co.uk Remember, any purchases you make at Amazon (books, cameras, marital aids, motor vehicles, small Carribean islands) can earn me a commission IF you visit Amzon via the links in my website. I'm always stunned by how many readers I meet who tell me they spend hundreds of dollars a year at Amazon. If those purchases were made through my links- such as the text link above, or the Amazon.co.uk search box or the Amazon.com image link to the left- the price would still be the same for you, but commissions would come my way, allowing me to buy some of the things I need, for example the wide angle lense I've been drooling over. If you're interested, please visit my Favourite Books page. Thank you. Every little bit helps.

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On the subject of finances you might be interested to know that after three months of hard work, and thanks to a very generous online donation from a reader, The Savage Files enjoyed a brief moment of glory 'in the black' as they say. In spite of the cost of replacing my laptop, my credit card was in positive figures for a couple of weeks. Since I stopped work however, the balance has dived back into the red as I've been reminded just what an expensive country this really is! Plans to fly to Morocco are developing quickly!

There's just a few days' work to do here in Rehdill, finishing off a job I started before I got that big project at Bletchingley. Remember Pam and John, who I stayed with when I first came to Redhill? Well, I'm back at their place, painting their drawing room while they're on holidays in Germany. They'll be back Thursday night, and I should have it finished by then. I just hope I heard them right when they told me the paint colour they wanted. We were on a noisy phone line, but I'm sure they said 'dark purple'. It wouldn't have been my choice, but who can tell with old people, eh?

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