Magazine article The Spectator

Diary: Irvine Welsh

Magazine article The Spectator

Diary: Irvine Welsh

Article excerpt

Credit: Irvine Welsh

I've been heading east in a circle around the world from Chicago, taking in New York, London, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bristol, Brighton, Paris, Geneva, Barcelona, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne and LA. Now I'm killing time in Barcelona. I'd forgotten what a wonderful town it is, and also reminded of how Mediterranean culture really is right at the apex of civilised society. By comparison, US mall life seems consumer capitalism's ultimate declaration of vacuous failure. I'm sitting drinking wine in a café with three wonderful women (Italian, Spanish and English) from my publishers, and the next thing I know it's 3 a.m.

A long layover at Heathrow to get the connecting flight to New Zealand. I've only ever been to the Antipodes on business and so have always had good seats. I've travelled in some dreadful circumstances in past lives, but economy class on such a long-haul flight would be a very taxing option with my long legs. I feel sorry for British Airways staff and other airlines unfortunate enough to have to fly into the squalid hole that remains Heathrow. We're an hour late on an hour-long flight, involving waiting on runways, circling above London, and a bus service from a dreary field in Middlesex to the 'state-of-the-art' Terminal 5. Most of all I feel sorry for British taxpayers, who were informed that their billions spunked on this mess would consign those irksome factors to the past. On Sunday afternoon they were all too present.

An interlude back in LA as we work on our movie Spring Breakers: The Second Coming . The creative team are constantly coming up with left-field story and casting ideas. So unusual to work with people who encourage a writer to really go out there; you're usually being reined in. Our producer Roberta today: 'Remember to get the Jesus aliens in, Irv!' This one will be a crazy ride.

Jetlagged in Auckland, NZ, and walking zombie-like down Queen Street, I was struck by the number of tall women hanging out with smaller guys. Is this a New Zealand thing?

Sydney is a magical city. Never had a chance to look around properly and enjoy it before. The gardens are beautiful and the fusion of old and downtown evokes London, New York and San Francisco. …

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