I have been quiet; I was in New York. Have I mentioned before how kind and supportive the literary translation community is?
Before I even got to New York, I got a phone call to say that my accommodation with a friend of a friend had fallen through; a burst pipe and no water for the foreseeable. Within minutes, another translator had offered me her flat for the weekend – she needed a cat-sitter anyway. So many people said I was welcome to stay on their respective couches that I decided to see a few different parts of town, spending two nights each in Greenpoint, Kensington and Upper West Side (I think). And everyone looked after me beautifully. I had (half of) the most ridiculous ice cream sundae of my life, went up on a roof, drank sake in a basement establishment I'm sure I'd never find again, had pink iced tea, went to a Polish diner, bought Statue of Liberty biros, admired various views, got lots of advice, talked to strangers, gave away and was given lots and lots of books and generally had a very interesting time.
So this is to say thanks to the Goethe Institut New York and the German Book Office New York – and to all the translation people who calmed me down and made my stay in their city so full of love. You know who you are. For everyone else, here's a home-swapping website for translators. OK, not quite everybody else.