Travelling afar

A couple of people have already said that they think I should set a tvdetective book outside of Devon.

How remarkably radical!  Why would anyone ever want to leave this heavenly county, I wondered? Surely, as the old saying goes, all life is here?

But then again....

I've just got back from a trip to Strasbourg, to the European Court of Human Rights.  That's a reporting trip, I should add, not appearing in any way - and certainly not as a defendant!

It was a fascinating time, which did give me pause for thought as to whether I should send Dan and Adam away on a journey abroad.  There's certainly plenty of material to compare with Blighty, and often favourably.  I could see it making quite an impression on the curious pair.

Adam would certainly appreciate the shift in attitude.  The city was so strikingly clean, with little in the way of litter or graffiti.  There was a real sense of civic pride, and of believing in a shared society, just the sort of thing of which my traditionalist friend of a detective would approve.

The ways of officialdom would appeal to Dan.  In Britain, all too often the mantra is "you can't do that."  Go to a court in this country, and you're largely on your own in trying to find your way. In Strasbourg, we were welcomed, shown around, and offered every courtesy. 

The beauty of the city would also delight Dan.  The architecture is magnificent, plenty for him to go off on one of his little musings about.  And there are some wonderful backdrops to stage a chase or two, making this writer happy. 

As for the beer - the bad news was there was no real ale in sight. Of happier appeal was the lager.  It's not like the British stuff, to say the least, not gassy and insipid.  I wouldn't be surprised if you could run a motorbike on it.  A couple of pints was quite sufficient to ensure a good night's sleep.

Yes, it was an uplifting experience, which left me thinking about perhaps doing a little writing based in another country.  So were my ideas on the train home - until, that is, a story broke, and we had to rush back and cover it, complete with making all the necessary calls as we travelled.  Such is a reporter's lot.

All jolly exciting, and perhaps also material for a future story...