"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

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Newsy Bits

I've decided that the spirit of Nell Gwyn stole my black gloves. When she lived she was an obsessive purchaser of gloves--for herself and for her sons (laced, perfumed, leather, silk). Partly why she left massive debts when she died. I strongly suspect her of distracting me during the final moments I was in her house so she could claim my gloves for herself. Therefore, she'll be wearing them at some point in my novel. I have the perfect scene for it!

Before our weekend in Nottingham, a Bristolian friend mentioned its claim to fame (in addition to its Goose Fair and Robin of Sherwood Forest.) An 18th century writer had made a similar point about the city. Unfortunately it in no way lived up to its reputation--and in fact, the very opposite appeared to be true. Sorry to be obscure, I dare not clarify. It would be a poor repayment of the warm hospitality we received from the residents. Besides, they still must be reeling from their football club loss to Weasel's team.

I need a house in this London street...

...where I'd drink this beverage:

Soon as I'd topped up my Oyster card (underground pass) for the length of my stay here, I hastened to the Victoria & Albert Museum. I needed to see the newly reopened Jewellery galleries. Very nicely done, well organised, beautifully lighted. And yet I can't help wondering why it took so long (years!) to do the renovation. Did the workers take too many tea breaks?

I also breezed through the silver galleries for a glimpse of my duke's spirits flask, engraved with his coat of arms. It, too, will likely turn up in my novel.

(I'm still waiting for a V&A drone to respond to my email from over a year ago, prior to my last visit, asking in advance whether the above object is on display in the permanent collection. As of this writing, no reply. Although around Christmastime last year--several weeks after I'd personally viewed the flask with my own eyes--an email arrived saying someone would be in touch soon.)

In the museum shop I bought a hedgehog Christmas tree ornament.

It was bright when I set out for the museum. While I was inside, a sudden strong burst of rain fell upon London. The sky had cleared by the time I emerged.

The skating rink beside the Natural History Museum was busy. At that moment the sky was exactly the same combination of colours as the stone tiles of the building. (Picture doesn't do it justice.)

Arrived back at our digs...just a few steps from Green Park Tube. And the Ritz and the Wolseley. He'd already booked our table at an important place of pilgrimage whenever we're here.

I fear I've misbehaved. So this morning I'm being taken to the Tower of London.

Send help!

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