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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!