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Friday, July 14, 2006

Dangerous visits, and two towns called Slaughter

Greetings from England! Or, as I like to call it, Fancyworld.

It’s been hot and sunny here, which isn’t exactly the kind of weather England is known for. I keep stepping outside and thinking, “This isn’t right. This just isn’t right.”

I was crushed to just miss the “Ham-stravaganza”—a party held in New York to celebrate the Pirates! books by Gideon Defoe. I am a serious fan of the Pirate Captain.

But that’s okay. I will recover.

Mostly what I do here is sit at a big table in the London Office and work, as Deadline is approaching once again. So in case you think I am spending my days scarfing down strawberries and champagne while punting on the river—think again!

I did go out in London the other night to see two of the people who were part of the Critical Support Network in the writing of 13 Little Blue Envelopes. I won’t say their names (thought they are mentioned in the book, in the acknowledgments), but will simply call them Trevor and Grace Dangerous.

Trevor and Grace are amazing people—both actors. So every once in a while I turn on the TV here and see one of them in a commercial. Grace was just in one that was showing all the time, and every single time I saw it I would start to scream. This obviously thrilled the other inhabitants of the L.O., who were then dragged over to the television so that I could show them—for the twentieth time—Grace’s facial reaction when an animated cow dropped through the roof of her car. (It was a commercial for some kind of cheese thing. I never quite understood what it was. But for Grace’s sake I endorse it.)

Trevor, Grace and I went to a pub in the City. The City is a small section in the middle of London that was the old, original London. It’s where you can find things like the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Here’s a little view of the Cathedral . . .

A little-known London landmark

We were violently attacked by flies once we got there, so escaped to one of my favorite London destinations . . .


I have been haunting Wagamama for a good long time now. It was very hip and hard to get into when I first went. Now there’s one every six feet or so, like Starbucks, so it’s a nice, convenient place to get my veg on. (On that note, though, I find that London is a lot more up to speed with the vegetarian dining options, and has been for a long time. Not that you asked.)

It was Trevor and Grace’s house that formed the basis of Richard’s house in the story. Since I was just there, I took a picture. In case you have ever wondered, this is what it looks like:

An exciting view.

I had an exciting ride back on the train that night. I was sitting next to the drunkest man in the entire world. He tried to start a fight with almost everyone that passed him, and came very close to succeeding.

That’s it, really. Although I am leaving in a few hours to go to a wedding in the Cotswolds, which will include a full production of Romeo and Juliet, and an all-night party in a field. (There are two towns in the Cotswolds called Upper and Lower Slaughter. I am disappointed to note that I am not going to either of these.)

I will undoubtedly have a report of these festivities on my return. In the meantime, here is a teaser research photo from Girl At Sea.

What's a Yacht Chandler? I have no idea. I could look it up, but it's more fun just to giggle.

UPDATE: Oscar Gingersnort has just read this, and informs me, "A chandler is someone who makes ropes! Everyone knows that!"

Readers, I ask you. Was it just me? Oscar knows all kinds of random crap, so that he knows what a chandler is isn't exactly a shock. But to call it "common knowledge," I'm not so sure. He admits, "It might be more common knowledge in England."

It's okay. He didn't know who Paul Revere was until I told him. And I'll bet he can't even remember.


Blogger Jennifer Lynn Barnes said...

I heart Wagamama. When I first moved to England, I spent a couple of weeks in London, and starved until I found Wagamama.

Also, I loved The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists- I seriously don't think I stopped laughing maniacally the entire time I read it.

12:06 AM  
Blogger NightDrive said...

Wow. I am commenting a lot of these now. I hope you dont mind.

= D

But I have to say both my parents are English(although they live in America) and my dad has been a sailor for a few years now and I have never heard of a chandler. Unless you're counting the guy from Friends...I wonder if thats where his name came from? I always wondered.

= D

Yay for your blogs!

11:04 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Umm, I know I am way late in commenting on this, but I'm on a 3-hours-of-sleep-not-wanting-to-go-to-bed binge of your blog, and actually, a chandler is a person who makes candles or soap . . . :) now that I'm posting this, it seems entirely irrelevant. But still :)

7:14 AM  
Blogger Chelsea said...

I relate to the blog binging, Stephanie.

I had no clue what a chandler was until I read this. Except for Chandler Bing.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Travis said...

Isn't a chandler someone who makes candles?

10:34 PM  

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