"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, November 25, 2006


No, I wasn't the Thanksgiving sort of pilgrim, more the "visiting a sacred shrine" sort.

Yesterday I paid homage to the main characters in my novels, who lived at Windsor--in close proximity to the monarch.

On arrival we were greeted by this regal moggie.

Not yet ready for my close-up. It was a breezy day.

After wandering some very grand corridors and chambers that would have been familiar to my duke and duchess, I visited the chapel in which she is interred. Then, after some initial difficulties, I successfully located the stall plate in the ancient choir with the duke's arms emblazoned upon it. It has been there since his installation as a Knight of the Garter. And the chapel steward very kindly unclipped the velvet rope and let me ascend to the actual spot, to view it close up.

It was an exciting and emotional afternoon. At times I became misty-eyed. When at last I emerged from the chapel, I was all smiles.

The next stop was the location of the mansion in which the couple lived. The building no longer exists, it was sold to King George III in the 18th century, and he converted to various uses. The Queen now stables her horses on the site, which is also the location of an education centre.

In future I'll be sharing much more of this journey.

Very early this morning my Chap departed for Dublin, where he had a meeting today. I returned to the library. Conveniently, there's a timely and newly-opened (as in yesterday) exhibition of London maps through the ages, enabling me to gaze upon and take notes from the giant Morgan map of 1682. Fantastic!

The intrepid traveller is due back in good time for dinner. But I'm off to keep company with a pint of cider as I await his return.

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