So I thought I would share a bit of England with you, more specifically, London. I have been home from England over 6 weeks now and I still occasionally try to drive on the left side of the road! I have to admit that I concentrated so hard to remember to stay left while driving there that I created a new habit! The moments when I almost do it wrong here are getting fewer and fewer. I find it interesting that two weeks in England can affect me so much. It truly felt like home.
This week’s blog is going to be specifically about London and what the beautiful city is like. I can tell you I was expecting something like Manhattan, where I visited last year. The main difference was the atmosphere and sense of history. Manhattan residents don’t look at you when you walk by; London residents nod and wish you good morning. Everyone walks fast in New York, but there were plenty of relaxed people strolling in London. Both cities are remarkably clean with hardly any litter. Both cities have spectacular sites to see. Some of my favorite sites in London were the Butterfly garden by the Natural History Museum, Hyde Park, the Shakespeare Globe and West End theatres, the amazing cathedrals like Westminster Abby and St. Paul’s Cathedral, and of course the museums. One thing that is unique that I think America should adopt is that all the museums are FREE! So we went to British Museum, Portrait Gallery, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, and Tate Modern (not our favorite). Here are a few pictures from these places.
Portrait Gallery where Jane Austen’s miniature is at
Butterfly garden on the grounds of the Natural History Museum. You could touch the butterflies and they would land on you. There was one butterfly that was 6 inches wide with wings closed!
St. Paul’s Cathedral
But what I cannot put to words effectively, is that there is a spirit to London that I have never felt anywhere else, yet, somehow the feeling was familiar. I would walk down the streets and see impressive stone masonry on the buildings, or find charming little diners that just screamed romance, (I expected to find Mr. Darcy at one of them in particular) or maybe it was a sense that this city had a history that America could never catch up on or match. Maybe it was a sense that I knew these places and the familiarity of all the Tube System stops (subway system) and streets were all familiar since I had read about the streets in so many books. Maybe it was that moment when I walked down the street on the way to Hyde Park and I could almost feel the horse-drawn carriages that traveled the same path in Jane Austen’s time. Like I said, I am having a hard time putting the spirit of the city to words, but there is a power and strength and romance to the city that makes me rethink all those times I tried to pretend that I knew what I was talking about in my writing. For all you who crave those Regency romances, or would love to walk where Jane Austen walked, at least for a day, do anything you can do to save up and see London.
I probably sounded like I’m terrible with words in trying to describe it. I know! I’m an author!!! How about this . . . London left me with a sense of nostalgia and a longing to return soon. When I left, it felt similar to leaving home for college. A part of me will always be there and yet, it has altered me so much that I knew it was never a real goodbye. No, there will always be the holidays where I can return home. Yes, that is what it was like. It was like coming home.
I loved it. So since I finally found the words, I thought I’d share a very short snippet from Hope for Georgiana, which I happened to finish a few weeks ago. For those of you who are not aware, Hope for Georgiana is the third in the Hope Series. The first one, Hope for Mr. Darcy, will be published in June next year. A few months later, Hope for Fitzwilliam will be published and then a few months later, Hope for Georgiana. Be prepared to get the entire series by January 2017! If you are anything like me, I can’t stand to wait for the next book in a series so I do not plan on making you wait too long between publications. This snippet occurs at the very end of the book and is from Georgiana’s point of view. Enjoy!
She saw that now. Never had she felt more at peace than curled on his lap with the sunrise behind her and her lips intertwined with his. Remembering the look in his eyes made her realize she knew what love looked like. And tasting the sweetness of his mouth made her realize that she knew what love tasted like too. As she let out a small moan of pleasure and heard him sigh as well, she knew she knew what love sounded like. But putting the last month all together, and all she had learned about love, she realized that recognizing love was not hard at all. All this time she really did know what love felt like, but until she knew what to call it, she had not realized that the feeling was not unfamiliar at all.
Love felt like coming home.
For those of you who want more, I have started posting Hope for Georgiana in the online forums on www.darcyandlizzy.com and www.meryton.com So far 5 chapters have been posted. I hope you have enjoyed seeing London and I pray you do not judge me for my inadequacies in trying to describe the feel of the city. I felt a sincere connection to London that made me feel like I had come home.
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