We are in Avignon. From the moment we stepped off the train I was happy. The wind was whipping the sycamores into a dither. The Avis people gave us a Renault Elf. Our hotel is lovely and old. We followed the Lonely Planet’s advice and ate at a restaurant where the chef took care, personal care, of us. Vegetarian risotto for me. Huge piles of beef and lamb for my son. The city is creamy and pink with marble streets, cafes, ice cream. This is a city to write in. I have not seen one person in biking gear. Our hotel has a garden which will be perfect for trying to write my Chamonix-through-Mary-Shelley’s-eyes chapter. No ski lodges anywhere near. Somehow, I will have to wax rhapsodic about those mountains, which is why I think writing biography is like theater. You have to take on your characters, imagine yourself into their shoes, which means I will have to see Chamonix through Mary Shelley’s eyes. Now that I am safely away from Mont Blanc I think I can do it. The irony of this is not lost on me.