Did boring things like the VAT return last week. Christmas sales of Venus have been dire – Amazon keeps flagging up ‘more on the way’ – but neither Bertram’s or Gardner’s figures change. Very mysterious. I have spoken to the agent, Melissa, in New York; she was enthusiastic and said that someone else in the office had loved Venus too – so that was encouraging. However publishing in the US seems to have gone into meltdown … Venus has been called in for the PEN Ackerley autobiography prize – so that’s exciting too. There is a piece today in the travel pages of the Nation in Abu Dhabi – so Venus is spreading her wings.