I almost always try to blog my research trips, and here I am again. This one is going to be a WILD ride. When I planned this trip, I didn’t know I was going to be having a book coming out at the beginning of May, so leaving for almost all of April didn’t seem crazy. IT DOES NOW.
[Did I mention I have a book coming out in May? It’s called Finding Fraser, and it’s published by Berkley, and … Oh, I did mention it? Well, back to the trip then!]
Things started off…interestingly. The plane was an hour late getting away, and we made it as far as Cold Lake Alberta — actually 40,000 feet ABOVE Cold Lake, when the plane began to turn right. One of the cabin crew blew his appendix in mid-air, and we ended up flying back to Calgary.
Turns out emergency diversions for a 747 are kind of a big deal. So, a set of paramedics, a full tank of gas and a whole
new flight plan later and we were back in the air. When we finally arrived, there was no one at the gate to meet us for an hour, but in the end, I still ended up safely in London. Hurrah!
I made up for the lost day today, and hit the streets before 7 to explore. I love this city, and in the past few years we have become fast friends. It is a great city to walk in, and yesterday’s rain and gale vanished, leaving a postcard-blue sky.
However, the hour was such that I even beat the market vendors to their stalls. This piggy was ready to welcome me, but he stood alone.
And heck, since by that time I was so close to the Tower of London, I strolled right on in. I haven’t actually been for a walk through the Tower since my book ‘Shades of Red’ came out [which actually had an image of the Bloody Tower on the cover], so it was cool to wander around again. And it turns out, if you arrive early on a March day, there are no crowds. Plenty of room to gaze at Crown Jewels and Armory Dragons.
In the afternoon I had to beetle back to Paddington Station and catch a train to Baglan, Wales, a wee hamlet within Port Talbot, on the way to Swansea. And tomorrow? I’m going to make my way to a Very Cool Cave north of here that, along with the Tower of London, is among the settings for the story I am working on right now.
For today, I’ll leave you with a picture of the sunset over a local penninsula known as the Mumbles. I chatted with two locals who, in separate conversations, both sang the praises of the local sunsets, and I cannot say I disagree.