Monday, 23 February 2015

LONDON RESEARCH TRIP PICS & GIVEAWAY

Between writing my novel-in-progress (NIP), nursing one chickenpoxed child, chasing one renegade mouse (caught and released) and various other shenanigans, I've been neglecting this blog.

I am also just back from London where I spent four days doing research for the NIP, which is set in Victorian London. I got back late last night after a flight delay, but it was a productive trip. There is nothing to match the thrill of going to an archive and being let handle documents that were signed by your characters. Or seeing new photos of them that make you look at them a bit differently. I'm grinning like a loon now thinking about all the valuable stuff I saw and did for the novel while in London. And I ate cake, oodles of it.

I did research here:


And while I was there I visited this pair, in honour of Wolf Hall:

Anne Boleyn
Thomas Cromwell
And these gents:


My main character liked to eat here so, naturally, I had to do the same:


Café Royal - window treats
Valrhona choc orange cake & tea
I also went to Kew to view documents - what an efficient, peaceful, wonder of a place the National Archives is:


 And while in Kew we ate in this lovely pub, where the halloumi on ciabatta was tdf:


Otherwise it was wandering, eating and even accidentally bumping into friend and fellow writer Kathleen Murray and her son across the road from here:

St Paul's Cathedral
Oh, serendipitously, we also stumbled upon the beautiful Royal Courts of Justice which feature in the NIP (which excited me no end):


And I found an Emily quote in the Bishopsgate Hall:


I bought books in Foyles refurbished place on Charing Cross Road:


Saw a grumpy kid off Brick Lane:


And an illusionist on Regent Street:


Plus iconic thingies, like The Gherkin:


I also bought two little essays on book shops, in chapbook form, to give away here, Ann Patchett's The Bookshop Strikes Back and The Unknown Unknown by Mark Forsyth. I'll post to anywhere in the world. Simply leave a comment and say which booklet you would prefer to win.


London was, as always, fab. I love the frenetic pace of it all, the mad Tube queues, the fantastic veggie food, the posh shops like Liberty, the abundant charity shops and markets, the beautiful Victorian square we stayed on, the Londoners who are so Londony they are almost like parodies of themselves. All of it is intoxicating, every time.

But it was equally lovely to be in my own bed last night, surrounded by silence, and to get back to the desk this morning armed with all I had learned about my characters, and their city. It proved a slow writing day (travel always distracts and unsettles me) but I'm hoping tomorrow will be more productive. Onward!

27 comments:

Marcella Brown said...

Nu, "The Bookshop Strikes Back" is my pick! for our lovely editor and friend, Linda Black...we are housesitting @ the infamous, historical Winslow-Haskell Castle in Auburndale, MA, near Boston...gypsy style! Win me this book!! LOVE! Marcelle

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Are you on the East coast now??!! I can't keep up, lady. Your names, you and Linda's, are in the hat :)

Marcella Brown said...

Yes!!..am back to share the op on this amazing castle-house, got a profile writing job in NYC next week and off to the Vineyard after..before I even get to Colrain! Wammmo... May 1 fly to Dublin!!!! Moving fast.xxxx

Rachel Fenton said...

Love the pics, the history, art and buildings, yummy cake, and the "grumpy kid"!

Glad you got everything your wanted and more out of your research trip!

Could I go in the hat for The Unknown Unknown, please?

Emily said...

That orange chocolate cake!! I really do feel I should accompany you on these trips to eh... Carry your luggage, and, ehhh.... Mind you, you know? Hope the poxed baby gets better soon! Xx

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Rachel o thanks for reading and, of course, you are in the hat.

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Marcella - how cool! I googled the house - fab!

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Ems - I'll throw you in the hat too. Yes, a baggage carrier, heh heh.

Margaret said...

Oh to have an excuse to visit London again! Your visit sounds like the perfect mix of enjoyment and enjoyment. Can you please put me in the hat for Mark Forsyth's essay?

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

It's a wonderful of a place, Margaret, to be sure. You are in the hat, my dear.

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

It's a wonderful of a place, Margaret, to be sure. You are in the hat, my dear.

Mary Lys Carbery said...

The Bookshop Fights Back.
Your trip looks wonderful. Delighted you had a good time. It's been years since I was in London, must plan a trip back.

Linnet In Oriel said...

What a fabulous trip, I just love your pic of that grump kid amidst all the crazy Brick Lane deco. Could I ask you to put my lovely almost Mother-in Laws name into the hat please? Mrs Ann Pyatt regularly buys the most wonderful books for me and she is retiring this week so would love 'The Unknown,unknown. Thanks.xx

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Mary Lys, safely in the hat!

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Shauna, your almost MIL is in the draw :)

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Shauna, your almost MIL is in the draw :)

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Mary Lys, safely in the hat!

Jackie Gorman said...

oh, the bookshop strikes back !! I read a review of it recently, it sounds fantastic. looks like a lovely trip and cake sounds good.

Bllie Travalini said...

With your words and text I felt your excitement of knowing you were where you needed to be as a writer and as an adventurer. As for my pick, "The Bookshop Strikes Back." Who can resist applauding such a noble effort?

LauraCassidy said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip! I would love to be added to the hat for the Ann Patchett.

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

You are in, Laura!

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Billie - you're safely in the hat!

Jackie - you too!

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Billie - you're safely in the hat!

Jackie - you too!

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Karen McDonnell has asked to be in the draw via FB, as she had trouble posting here.

So, you're in, Karen, for The Bookshop Strikes Back.

Draw tomorrow - Thursday 6th!

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

And the winners, as drawn by my lovely assistant, Finn, are:

Mary Lys - Ann Patchett's chapbook

Rachel Fenton - Mark Forsyth's chapbook

Congrats, dear, ladies.
Please send your addresses to me at nuala AT naualnichonchuir DOT com
(Rae, if you are still at Lavery, I have yours!)

Rachel Fenton said...

Oh YUSSSSSS! Thank you~ so very stoked to have won! And I'm still at Lavery :)