Hullo, there, from gray and drizzly London...!
I arrived in London on Tuesday at noon and--because my flight had been delayed on the tarmac for several hours at JFK the night before--had to rush straight to a lunch with my fabulous UK editor, Kate Howard, and publicist, Eleni, as well as several other key members of the Hodder and Stoughton sales and marketing team. Nothing says "classy" like washing your face and changing your clothes in an airport bathroom... Thankfully, I was rejuvenated by the company and the delicious tapas we shared at a cozy little gastropub...where the waiters kindly let me stack my luggage in the corner.
The next two days were a whirlwind of trains, talks, and school visits. I got to eat in a school "canteen" (translation: cafeteria), which I had not done in over a decade. Strangely, the look and smell of high school cafeterias--despite differences in geography--remain unchangingly the same, and unfailingly fairly repugnant.
Despite culinary misadventures, however, I had the BEST time. Pics below are from the Astley Cooper School, where the students were so warm and enthusiastic and also WORE REALLY COOL SOCKS! (My talk was in the drama studio, a shoe-less zone, so I was treated to the site of about seventy pairs of brightly colored socks.)
Later on, I did an evening event at the venerable Beneden school, an absolutely goregous private boarding school that looks as though it was taken directly out of Harry Potter and deposited in the middle of rolling green hills and lawns. I kept expecting Mr. Darcy to ride up on a horse (and yes, I know I am mixing a variety of books, here). The talk was a wild success; over one hundred girls attended, and they were sweet and enthusiastic and super attentive. I ended up signing books for almost everyone!
Tomorrow it's off to Paris for the weekend, then Bologna for the Book Fair...