Guest Post from T. B. Markinson – An American in London!

Great excitement all around and more to come so hold on to your hats! As some of you already know, I had a great time with T. B. Markinson over at her blog Making My Mark last week when she so kindly hosted my guest post.

Well, now it’s my turn and today I am thrilled and delighted to be hosting T. B.’s guest post as part of a ‘Book Blog Hop’ that she is taking part in throughout this month to promote the release of her second novel, ‘Marionette’ due out this month.

With that said and enough from me, I hand you over to T. B…

Sherri has been kind enough to let me write a guest post for her blog. I’m an American living in London, England. Sherri is a Brit and she used to live in America. It’s a small world. She asked me to write about my initial thoughts on London when I moved here in 2011.

Oddly enough the first thing that came to my mind was my cab driver. I moved to London in September. My partner, who had been transferred to London for work, had been living in England since July. I was busy closing up our apartment in Boston and getting our “boys” ready for the trip across the pond.

We have a Boston Terrier named Miles and a cat named Atticus Finch. For weeks this move consumed my every thought. I was worried about our boys arriving safe and sound. We hired a company to help us with the flights, customs, and all the other hoopla. Then there was the issue that I was in charge of getting all of our belongings packed up and on a boat. We had a moving company to help, but it was still stressful.

Sleeping Miles

Sleeping Miles

004

Atticus Finch

It wasn’t until the day before my flight to London did I realize something. You see, I was arriving ahead of the boys so I could prepare the flat for them. Such as get cat litter, dog and cat food, and figure out where in the heck my flat was. There was one tiny detail I didn’t plan for: I had never been to London. My partner had to work the morning I arrived. So when I landed, I was on my own and had to find my way to my partner’s temporary flat. Actually, I was directed to hang out at the pub across the way from the flat. How would I get there? Should I take the Tube? A cab?

The Tube was out of the question. I used the subway system in Boston, but once above ground, I’m completely clueless about finding my way around in a new place. A cab seemed like the perfect solution. However, in the States, not all cab drivers know their way around the city they work in. For instance, once we got hopelessly lost in Queens New York in the middle of the night. Finally we found the street that our hotel was on, but city blocks in New York are massive. It was nearing two in the morning and I just wanted to get to the hotel fast. When I spied a cab I practically threw myself in front of it so he had to pick us up. Now I mentioned we were on the right street. I asked the cabby to drive us to our hotel. He wouldn’t budge until I punched in the address into his GPS. Seriously, all he had to do was drive down the street and pay attention to the street addresses. Giving in, I punched in the address and waited for the GPS unit to instruct the driver to proceed down the road. I wanted to scream. The entire time the cab driver looked terrified. Maybe Queens isn’t his usual borough.

So when I approached the cab stand at Heathrow Airport I was a tad bit scared. All I had with me with the address of the pub scribbled down on a notepad. Nervously I handed him the address. He smiled at me and studied my horrendous handwriting. I couldn’t print instructions for the cab driver since when I realized I need to make arrangements for myself, my computer and printer were on a boat somewhere in the middle of the ocean. All I had was a cell phone.

You can’t imagine my relief when the cab driver said, “Oh, I know that pub.” There are hundreds of pubs in London. Hundreds and yet he knew the one I needed. The drive took over an hour. His confident manner put me at ease. I called my partner to announce my arrival. We couldn’t speak for long since my partner’s job is very demanding.

I sat back and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the cab. We neared the city and the excitement started to build. We drove along the Thames, Parliament, and Big Ben to name a few landmarks. I was finally in London. Safe and sound.

Then the cab driver told me that he couldn’t drop me off at the front door of the pub since the road was closed to cars during the day. He pulled to the side of the road and pointed me in the direction of the pub. I was fairly certain I saw it, but wasn’t sure.  Before I could say anything, he grabbed my bag and walked me to the pub. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been in a few cabs all over the world, and never before had I met one who was so courteous, professional, and sweet.

I soon learned that cab drivers in London have to pass a test to get their license. They have to know their way around the city—I’m thinking that cab driver in New York could learn from this.

That’s my first impression of London. We signed up to stay for two years. Our two years have come and gone. But we weren’t ready to leave so we extended our time here indefinitely.

Thanks Sherri for hosting me today. In case any of you are curious about my novel, I’ve included the synopsis below.

Cheers,

TB

mar-kindle

Synopsis:

Paige Alexander is seventeen and has her whole life in front of her. One day her girlfriend comes home to discover that Paige has slit her wrists. Paige isn’t insane, but she acts like she is. Why?

After the incident, Paige agrees to go to therapy to appease her girlfriend, Jess. However, Paige doesn’t believe that therapy will help her. She believes she’s beyond help. Paige doesn’t want to find herself and she doesn’t want to relive her painful past in order to come to terms with it. What Paige wants is control over her life, which she hasn’t had since her birth.

During her childhood, Paige is blamed for a family tragedy, when in fact, her twin sister, Abbie was responsible. Abbie doesn’t come forward and Paige becomes the pariah of the family.

To add to Paige’s woes while attending a college in a small town in Colorado, the residents are in the midst of debating whether or not gays and lesbians should have equal rights. Tension is high and there’s a threat of violence. She isn’t out of the closet and pretends to be straight at school since she fears what will happen if her parents find out she’s a lesbian. Will she end up dead like her best friend, Alex?

About the Author:

T B Markinson

T B Markinson

T. B. Markinson is a 39-year old American writer, living in England, who pledged she would publish before she was 35. Better late than never. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling around the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order. Marionette is her second novel.  A Woman Lost was her debut novel. 

 

Mailing List:

Sign up to TB’s New Release Mailing List here. Your email will never be shared and you will only be contacted when a new book is out.

 

Links:

Twitter        Facebook        Blog        Goodreads     Amazon Author Page

Purchase Links:

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

What a great story, thank you so much T.B. for this wonderful guest post!  It’s so great to know that you had a good experience when you first arrived here in Blighty!  I hadn’t realised that the cab drivers in New York don’t know their way around like our boys here do! The London cabbies are excellent I must agree and from my understanding the test that they have to take is quite stringent.   Also wonderful to know that you have extended your stay here indefinitely…great news indeed!

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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92 Responses to Guest Post from T. B. Markinson – An American in London!

  1. I’ve personally never had a bad experience with a London cab driver. It’s almost like you rely on them when all else fails!

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  2. That’s a good tale and we get a pic of the boys too 🙂 I guess everyone British knows about The Knowledge that London cabbies do, so it was no surprise to me that he knew where your pub was. I don’t usually take taxis on cost grounds but the last time I was in London I was full of paranoia about not wanting to get blown up on the underground so I took taxis between railway stations. Expensive, but very good.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ah yes, The Knowledge. Every London cabbie knows it!

      I remember going on the trains and the underground in the 70s when we went to stay with my dad (we lived in Suffolk and Dad lived in Brighton) and even then there were signs everywhere warning about unattended bags and packages. Seems to have been that way here for a long time now…

      Taxis are the best, but as you say, expensive! Hubby and I like to go to London as often as we can and we usually end up doing an awful lot of walking 😉

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    • TBM says:

      They are expensive and thank goodness I didn’t have to pay for the one from the airport. Now I walk as much as possible during my wanders in London. It’s how I find so many pubs.

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  3. Wow, I’ve heard so much about London because my best friend worked there for 2 years as a nurse and now I am convinced that it is filled with wonderful people!

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  4. Oh my, Miles is so adorable! The flight must have worn him out. It’s nice to know the cabbies in London know their stuff. I had a harrowing cab ride in NYC once and I haven’t stepped into a cab since. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Jill, yes, aren’t TB’s boys so cute? I love these pics! And what a great name, Atticus Finch, love it 🙂 I can really relate to what it was like for TB bringing them over,as you know, I did the same thing with our two cats. But they are family, and family goes everywhere we do, right?

      Sorry to hear about your NY cab ride. I’ve not experienced that. Just as well it seems… 😉

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      • TBM says:

        I know how you feel Sherri. When we found out we were moving we never considered leaving our boys behind. Some people who don’t know us that well suggested it and I would just give them my death stare. It was stressful, but now we are all settled. And I love walking Miles in London.

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        • Sherri says:

          Ha Ha! Oh yes TB, I can well imagine, as I’m sure I would have done the same when somebody suggested we leave our cats behind! I had promised my kids that no matter what I would being them back with us, especially since their father and I were splitting up, this was utterly non-negotiable to me.
          It’s lovely to know you are all so settled and happy in London and I can imagine Miles enjoying the parks and all the attention he probably gets 🙂

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      • TBM says:

        Miles loves getting attention. When someone says hi to him he takes this as an invite to jump all over the person. Luckily not many have complained, even when he has muddy toes. Now I know the warning signs so I can get him under control fast.

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    • TBM says:

      Hi Jill. Unfortunately Miles knows how adorable he is and he gets away with murder. A bad cab experience does stick with you.

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  5. TBM says:

    Thanks so much for hosting me today. I’ll comment more once sky fixes my internet connection. So far they haven’t been helpful. Maybe london cabbies should run the company

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    • Sherri says:

      Any time TB, it’s a pleasure. Just so sorry that your internet connection is down, what a bummer. Sky, helpful? I’ll say no more…Ha ha! Yes, those London cabbies would show them a thing or two that’s for sure. See you soon hopefully 🙂

      Like

      • TBM says:

        I learned from the start that Sky isn’t helpful. When I moved here it took them two weeks to “flip” the switch to turn on my internet after it was installed. Must be a big switch if it takes that long 😉

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        • Sherri says:

          My son worked for a Sky call centre when he first left Uni. His first words to me were ‘Mum, don’t ever get Sky broadband’!! We have Sky TV but BT for Broadband. They are ok, so far dare I say. Maybe you could look into changing to another Broadband provider when you can…still, great to see you up and running again 🙂

          Like

      • TBM says:

        Sky broadband has been nothing but a problem for us. When we buy a place I think I’ll move to a different company.

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  6. Heyjude says:

    Great guest post – and love the ‘boys’. I don’t take taxis here, but have done in the US and most of the time the driver has not known where to take us! Getting a cab from SF airport we gave the driver the address of our hotel – the Marriott in San Mateo. Once on the road she asked us where she needed to turn off the freeway. We looked at each other in bewilderment – how should we know?

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  7. What a wonderful guest post! I’ve never visited London, but it is most assuredly on my “to do” list. I love how life has it’s twists and turns. What started as a tentative cab ride turned into an indefinite stay!

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    • Sherri says:

      T. B. tells a great story, and it’s always so good to hear one like this that is so complimentary about my home turf 🙂 Also so glad that she is staying a while!

      I hope you get to visit London oneday Heather, it’s an amazing city that Hubby and I try to visit as often as we can (interestingly, both our dads were born in London!)

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    • TBM says:

      Hi Heather I really hope you get to visit London. It’s a wonderful place. We fell in love with it right away and I’m so glad we were able to stay.

      Thanks Sherri. It’s always nice to hear good things about one’s country. Just don’t get me started on Sky today 😉

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  8. jennypellett says:

    The test the London cabbies do is colloquially known as ‘the knowledge.’ Like everything in London, they are the best in the world. But then I’m biased.

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  9. Dylan Hearn says:

    It’s great seeing your own country through somebody else’s eyes, especially when the view is so complimentary. A lovely post and I’m so glad you are loving living in our little country.

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  10. A great post, TB. I enjoyed reading about your arrival in England. I, too, had an experience with a British cab driver and came away thinking they are the best in the world. My group and I had a long cab ride to take into the countryside. We all talked the whole time about our families, etc. By the time we got to our destination we felt like the cabbie was a friend and we all exchanged hugs! I would NEVER do that in the U.S.

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  11. I am most curious how the story, The Marionette concludes. I’m intrigued.
    Wow. I have never heard of such a helpful cab driver. 🙂

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  12. Pingback: Help! I don’t have internet access! | Making My Mark

  13. I love seeing the ‘babies’. A move can be rough on our four-legged friends. I have found cab drivers in Europe to be helpful – especially in Paris where you might least expect it. I’ve never been to London but it is on my list. Hearing that the cabbies are eager to assist is wonderful to know.

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    • TBM says:

      Not sure I’ve taken a cab in Paris and I have to admit I am somewhat surprised that they are so nice. Not to stereotype. Yes, you have to visit London. It’s a wonderful place for writers!

      Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Renee, yes, on a visit to Paris a few years ago, Hubby and I also found the cab drivers there to be helpul. Of course, we chose to visit during a transportation strike and only the cabs were working so you can imagine how long we had to wait! It was November too, and a bitter chill had decided to blow through! Still, we had a super time 🙂

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  14. All posts with pics of “the boys” get the thumbs up from me 🙂

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  15. KimberlyAfe says:

    That is great that the London cab drivers are so awesome like that. 🙂 I really want to go there someday! 🙂

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  16. Miles is adorable, but being a huge Harper Lee fan, I have to go with Atticus Finch the cat. This is an excellent guest post, Sherri and T.B. !

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  17. When my son and daughter-in-law were in London on a holiday with their 5 year old daughter, the men would carry my grand daughter on the escalator as she was scared to get on it. Just when she would be hesitating in front of it and my son would be coaxing her to climb on it, some guy would swoop in. And whoop! She was carried to her destination. This , my son says happened in all the malls. The London people seem a helpful lot.

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    • TBM says:

      Aw that’s so nice. I wonder if they would carry me. Some of them in the Tube stations are so tall and a little scary. I can see why she was nervous.

      Like

    • Sherri says:

      It is so good to read wonderful things about my home country and the good people of London, thanks so much Talkalittledo for sharing your son’s experience 🙂

      Like

  18. Pingback: Guest Posts, Reviews, and Free Books! | Making My Mark

  19. Rachel says:

    I’m not surprised you decided to extend your stay, TBM. I love living in the UK and although we have to leave next month – something I’m dreading – we have plans to return for good. 🙂

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  20. How cute are Miles and Atticus? Love them. And their names are great too.

    I can’t even imagine making a move like this, what an adventure. I visited London some years ago though and fell in love with the city, I’m not surprised you decided to extend your stay. Glad it has worked out so well for you and your partner!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Lovely to know that you enjoyed your visit to London Julie 🙂

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    • TBM says:

      My partner named Miles since he had to travel many Miles when she got him. At the time no one knew how many more miles he would travel. Our boys have an impressive passport.

      The move was terrifying on some levels but also so exciting. And once everyone arrived safe and sound we’ve never regretted it. London is a wonderful city. give me a shout if you ever visit again. I know some good pubs 🙂

      Like

  21. Great to hear about your experiences of moving over to London TB, glad it was a good experience for you and I also love the pics!

    Like

  22. Pingback: Book Giveaway: Claudia Must Die By T. B. Markinson | A View From My Summerhouse

  23. joseph muita says:

    Great Story my friend , Thanks for inspiring us

    Liked by 1 person

  24. joseph muita says:

    thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

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