Monday, November 30, 2009

Brought to You by the Letters A and Z

I came across this photo today on London Daily Photo and it looked so much like my own collection that I had to laugh.

I'm going to float the theory that the number of copies you have of this handy book is directly related to the number of years spent in London -- I've been here for five years, and I own five! The book's called the A - Z, and it's kind of like having GoogleMaps in your pocket. Each page shows a different cross-section of London streets, (almost) down to the smallest passageways. Simply put, if you live in London you need to have one of these.

I first realised the importance of having one when I was called out to supply teach in a neighbourhood off Edgware Road, central London. Just off the plane from Canada, I'd taken down the fastidious directions from the recruitment consultant, naively thinking: how hard can it be?

Well. After getting lost in the maze of streets and finally getting to the job -- horror upon horrors -- late, the consultant (fielding my increasingly frantic phone calls) suggested I get an A - Z. When I wasn't chasing after errant children, I wondered what on earth this A - Z was. Vowing never to get lost again (OK, I didn't really know how to get home), I popped into a corner store and asked if they had one. The man handed me a coil-bound Inner London edition, and my A - Z collection was born.

I'd like to say I never got lost again. But little did I realise that my super-sized Inner City London edition didn't cover far-flung environs like Harolds Wood and Ponders End, where I was shunted off to supply teach. My wanderings prompted another A - Z purchase, this time covering the whole of London.

A - Z number three was purchased in a fit of panic when I mistakenly thought I'd lost one. I just couldn't bear to hit the London streets without my faithful companion in hand. Number four was a mini-version bequeathed to me by a friend returned to Canada -- great to store in your hand-bag but not so great when half the streets seem to fall in the centre crack and you need microscopic vision to see anything. And the fifth? Well, you wouldn't want your car journeys to be neglected, would you? It's nesting comfortably in the glove compartment.

This posting (not paid, honestly!) has been lovingly brought to you by the letters A and Z. I'm telling you, never leave home without it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mutton or Lamb?

It's a rainy, dull day in London. Streets and shops are practically empty as people huddle inside their cozy flats. But for some, staying in just plain boring.

So... why not make your own fun? That's exactly what these teens did.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What's Next?

Now that my book is out and most of the launch hoopla's behind me, I've begun to focus on what's next. '24 Hours Paris' is, for the most part, completed (yay!) and as always, my goal of getting published on the fiction side comes to the fore. Of course I'm ecstatic to be published, period -- and even more so that it's something to do travel, which I've always loved writing about -- but I really really want to get my fiction out there, too.

It's ever-so-slightly embarrassing to admit that I've written five novels, none of which has been published. I've pitched two, put away two more to be edited, and I've just completed my fifth. It might sound depressing, but I can see I'm getting better. I feel more confident, too, about what I'm doing. So, it might take another five -- or ten -- novels, but I think I'll get there in the end. And if not, well... at least I'm enjoying the journey.

Cross your fingers for me!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy (American) Thanksgiving!

The blogs are alive today with the sound of clucking as Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. So to all the Americans who come across this post today... Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's what the confused Brits have to say about it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

All Marketing, All the Time

It's my new obsession: marketing! Time-consuming and humiliating -- sometimes. But mostly fun and exciting. I have to thank everyone who's helped me with promotion, from friends and family to complete strangers (and it's not over yet -- if I haven't hit you up for something, just wait!).

Today I'm over at Hell or High Water, talking about what I've learned in marketing my book.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Canberra Calling

It's been awhile since I've seen my name in newspaper print. I trained as a journalist and spent a few scintillating years working as an editor of a medical journal before bailing out and going into the wonderful world of public relations.

So I was eager to see a copy of an article I wrote for the Canberra Times (if, like me, your geography is questionable, Canberra is the capital of Australia). The article came out last Sunday and I finally got a PDF last night. Thanks to Mary and Peter Nelson, friends of my parents living in Canberra, I'll have a hard copy as soon as the post obliges.

In the meantime, here's the link!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Urban Travel Blog... Check it Out!

I'm posting on the fly today as I'm just on my way out the door to the pub (aka my writers' group in Marylebone), but I wanted to share this link with you. It's a new travel website, started by former Polish resident and now Barcelona-dweller Duncan Rhodes. The site aims to provide all the information you need about destinations world-wide, in just one page per destination.

I'm a recent contributor to the London portion of the site. If you get a chance, swing by and tell Duncan (and me!) what you think!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just One Hour

Smitten by Britain recently held a competition to win a few copies of my book (thanks, Melissa!). Her question for entrants was: 'What would you do in London if you had just one hour?'

The answers were so great I decided to steal them for my own blog! Here are a few:

I would rent a helicopter and have them fly me over London for an hour so that I could take in the entire city from a pigeon's point of view !

I would make sure I was there on a Sunday so I could go to Speaker's Corner, after which I would go to the National Museum (I've never been and I've always wanted to), followed by a play at the Globe Theatre (the season starts after Shakespeare's birthday in May), and finish with a look at Big Ben and a pub dinner.

Kensington Roof Gardens! Its owned by Richard Branson and is THE most amazing place. We spent an hour there on a whistle stop tour last month and we loved it. If we didn't have a guide we would never have known it was the name suggests, it's on top of an 6 or 8 storey building!

What would I do in an hour? Only an hour? Oh my gosh, I don't know how this little Canadian Country Mouse could possibly take in all that history, culture, and beauty in just an hour! I would either find the largest memory card for my camera and run around taking pictures of everything and everybody and then look and drool over the pictures in the comfort of my own home, or, more than likely I would spend the time in the Natural History Museum. Sigh.... heaven.... even if it was just an hour. Thank you for making me day dream!

Oooh I adore london! If I only had an hour I would go to the Borough markets and eat myself silly, then sit by the river and people watch while I digest all my amazing food. I have family in London and have visited there several times, but never, ever get sick of it. After Sydney, it's probably my favourite city in the world!

I would stand in the middle of Waterloo Bridge and take it all in. I can't believe I used to complain about that walk every morning before I moved to the US. It's breath-taking!

Living there anyway, I know that a free hour in London usually means sitting on the tube trying to get somewhere! I always like a walk through Petticoat Lane market in the Middlesex Street area. Best done on a weekend when it takes over multiple streets.

I would go to Rigby and Peller in Knightbridge and be fitted for a perfectly fitting, beautiful new bra or two, then stroll into Harrods food hall and smell all the wonderful aromas and buy a sinfully decadent pastry or some truffles.

I'm probably boring, but I absolutely love Charing Cross and its old bookshops, so I'd spend some time in the second hand book shops before bowing between the throne that is Foyle's!

Only 1 hr? I'd probably spend it the way I spent my first hour there - take the tube to Baker Street and wander around Regent's Park to enjoy the roses in bloom. ...Or maybe I'd grab a milk chocolate chunk shortbread and canned pimm's & lemonade from M&S, wander around St. Pauls and cross the Millenium bridge over to bankside for a quick stroll past the Tate, Globe, etc.

I have never been outside of South Africa, so the first thing I would do when I get to London, will be to go to Madam Tussauds and kiss Lady Di's cheek! I watched her wedding, cried when she died and would love to see what she looked like in real life! I would then walk the streets of London to look at all the old buildings in wonderment! Our country's oldest building, the Castle in Cape Town, was built only in 1666, so I really would like to see the architecture of the older buildings. Then, if I still have time, I would run to see the Rosetta Stone and Leonardo's paintings!

And Melissa recently gave me the Superior Scribbler Award (thanks - again!), which I shall now pass on to five other bloggers:
India Drummond
Sarah Eve Kelly
Tim Atkinson of Bringing Up Charlie
Deniz Bevan of The Girdle of Melian
Karen Jones Gowen of Coming Down the Mountain

The Rules:
Each Superior Scribbler I name today must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving bloggy friends. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Harsh Reality

It's Friday and almost the weekend, so hey -- here' s a little reality check to get the weekend started.

According to this article, writing one New York Times Best-Selling book per year will keep you just above the poverty line. Well, no-one ever becomes a writer for money! Do they?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Weird British Things - Part Two

Thanks to all who commented on the last post! Karen had a good point -- sometimes it's better not to tell cabbies where you're going until you get in. That way, they have to take you.

And maybe mince pies are better with Devonshire clotted cream. I'm just not sure I'll ever find out.

Here are some more weird British things. Feel free to comment and let me know if it's just me, or if these things are indeed strange for most non-natives. (Last post on the weirdness, I promise!)

Toilets with a button on top - What is with that? I want a lever to flush, dammit. Not some button on the top.

Washing machines that open from the front - I find washing machines here, in general, so confusing. And don't get me started on the washer/dryer all-in-one combo!

Power outlets with on-off switches - I think this is a great idea. Plug it in, turn it on.

TV licenses - What, I have to pay to have a telly? And the funniest fact of all (discovered when I had to write the 'Life in the UK' test): if you're blind, you get 50 per cent off your license. What a deal!

Small, small fridges - I can't believe how big fridges are when I go back home.

Standing up in pubs - Please can we sit down? Why do I have to stand here awkwardly with my drink, even if there are chairs available?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Weird British Things

(Before I start my list, let me clarify that these are the things I found weird when I first moved to Britain -- and still do, in some cases. I'm not saying Brits are weird for doing these things.)

Mince pies at Christmas - Can anything be more disgusting than horrible stodgy pastry stuffed with squished raisins and dates. Blek.

First-class and second-class post - Seriously, what is with that? Even the post must be sorted according to class?

Windows without screens - Leaves can blow in! Bugs can circulate! Windows need screens!

The Queen owns it all - Even if you buy a flat (in London, anyway), after 999 years it reverts back to the Queen.

No tax! - Now this I love. OK, there is tax, but at least it's rolled in to the price.

Tell the cabbie where you're going before you get in - Once you're in, they can't refuse your fare so you need to flag them down, then lean through the window and then tell them where you want to go.

More to come in future posts!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Publishing Terms

I love Twitter. Not only is it a brilliant distraction when you're facing 200 pages of editing, but it also provides interesting little tidbits from sources around the world. Today I found this, courtesy of agent Janet Reid.

These are my favourite bits.

ADVANCE: A secret code signalling to the marketing department whether or not to promote a title.

AGENT: An intellectual property and contract law specialist who is unable to pass the bar.

AUTHOR: A large class of individuals (approximately three times as numerous as readers) serving a promotional function in book marketing or providing make-work for editorial interns.

AUTHOR BIO: A piece of creative writing whose length varies inversely with the attractiveness of the person depicted in the AUTHOR PHOTO.

AUTHOR PHOTO: Pictorial fiction. Authors always choose photos that emphasize that quality in which they feel most deficient.

AUTHOR’S DISCOUNT: A penalty charged authors who are unable to wheedle sufficient masses of free copies, purportedly for the purpose of promotion, from their editors.


BOOK DISTRIBUTION: An elaborate system testing the commitment of readers by making sure they cannot obtain specific books too easily.

BOOK REVIEW: A recycled press release offered to publishers by newspaper and magazine sales departments as an inducement to advertising.


COMMERCIAL FICTION: The notion of publishing as a way of making money.

COMP COPIES: A publisher’s entire inventory, according to the urgings of his friends and colleagues.

COPY EDITING: A phase of publishing that requires little or no budget, is considered of slight importance, and may be omitted at the option of the publisher.

COPYRIGHT: A concept invented by lawyers as a hedge against unemployment.


DEADLINE: An item that exists to be renegotiated and revised. In his famous paradox, the Greek philosopher Zeno proved that deadlines can never be met.


EDITOR: A writer with a day job.


FANTASY: An author's sales aspirations.

FOREIGN MARKET: The part of the country outside New York City.

FOREWORD: A blurb that is placed between the covers of the book to compensate for an unmarketable author.

FRANKFURT BOOK FAIR: An annual international exhibition of artwork on paper.


MAINSTREAM FICTION: The pretense that there is a group of readers who can be reached through writing that is sufficiently unspecific as to exclude no one.


NOVELLA: A short story that has not been edited.



PRINTER'S ERROR (PE): An error made before a book goes to print.

PUBLICATION DATE (PUB DATE): A sliding holiday based on the phases of the moon.


REJECTION LETTER (FORM): A condensed restraining order serving to justify requests for SASEs.

REJECTION LETTER (PERSONAL): A formulaic literary genre, premised on justifying not reading or misreading a manuscript, in which the narrator grossly exposes both deep character flaws and an absolute blindness to them.

ROYALTY: The glamorous heads of large publishing houses, also known as GLITERATI.


SALES REP: A roaming bookstore employee retained as a buffer against publishers and authors.


SHELF LIFE: Bookworms.

SHORT STORY: A story that is seldom short enough.

SPINE: Once an essential aspect of any book, spines are no longer found in the publishing industry.


UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY: A biography in which there is no trace of original writing by an author.

UNIVERSITY PRESS: A business predicated on obtaining materials from scholars without compensating them in order to sell the same materials at high prices to scholars.

UNSOLICITED MANUSCRIPT: A manuscript that can’t sell because it includes too few salacious solicitations.


WORK-FOR-HIRE: Migrant labor.

WRONG FONT: Comic Sans.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jump n' Jazz

It was a wet, windy and generally miserable weekend in London. But there's a certain pathos to the wind-strewn streets, and weather aside, we managed to get in a lot of London love.

The Man's Egyptian cousin was visiting London for the first time and we wanted to show off our city. After pointing out the typical touristy sights, we dragged her off to the theatre - we'd scored a great deal on tickets to Jump from (£10 each!). It had been ages since we'd been to theatre - way back in August - and I was really looking forward to seeing a production that had received rave reviews.

If you like martial arts and slapstick comedy, you'll like Jump. I like neither and while I was pleasantly entertained for the first five minutes, I quickly found myself feeling bored. But The Man and his cousin enjoyed it, so I suffered in (sort of) silence. For me, it was like dim sum: you can eat and eat and just never feel full (fine for dim sum, but not so good for theatre).

But the jazz concert the next night more than made up for any theatrical disappointment. It's the London Jazz Festival this week, and we got some of the last available tickets. We didn't know what to expect from the two bands who'd be performing, but from the description of 'demonic' and 'wailing' instruments it certainly looked interesting.

Trio VD.

Trio VD took to the stage first, ripping into their instruments. If the Devil listens to jazz, I'm sure this is his preferred band. It was painful, it was beautiful, and it was astonishing that three musicians could produce such a glorious cacophony.

The trio was followed by the even more disturbing World Sanguine Report, fronted by gravelly voiced Andrew Plummer. Slightly extreme for my tastes -- especially his on-stage vignette featuring a seagull whose guts spilled all over a Leeds suspension bridge -- but you had to admire the talent.

And all too quickly, the weekend was over, our guest returned to Liverpool, and London readied itself for a whole new week ahead.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sloppy Signs

You know it's a slow news day when the ever-exciting Evening Standard comes out with a story about apostrophes gone awry.

Apparently errant signmakes are confused and signs are paying the price. Is it Bott's Mews or Botts Mews? Bishops Bridge Road or Bishop's Bridge Road?

However will the world keep turning? Click here to read more.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

First Timers

The Man and I are waiting to go pick up his cousin from Euston. She's in Liverpool doing her PhD for the next few years, and this will be her first trip to London.

I love introducing first-timers to London. When I first moved here, I had a steady stream of visitors to show around. Now, it's slowed considerably but The Man and I have the patter pretty well down. He introduced me to many aspects of the city when I first came, and he does it very well.

It's kind of hard to remember back, five years ago, when I arrived. I'd been in London before, but I still didn't know much about the city. I landed early one morning in May, and after settling into my flat in Highgate I headed straight to Camden Town to drink in the atmosphere - the buzz, the noise, the sirens and even the rubbish seemed so... London. I wandered down the street, past the market stalls, and I couldn't keep the smile off my face. Later that day I walked through Highgate Woods and across Hampstead Heath, still unable to believe I was actually going to be living here.

I still feel that way even now. I fell in love with this part of the world, met and married my husband here, and all things being well, I'll hopefully soon be a citizen.

And that's why I love showing people what I now consider to be my city.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

London in the 1920s

Recently featured on BoingBoing and sent to me by Jason (thanks, Jason!) this is a wonderful colour film shot in 1927. Some great shots of London almost a century ago.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Wonderful World of London Place Names -- Part 1

When I first moved here, I used to spend hours reading the Tune map and marvelling at all the strange names. So I thought I'd share the joy - and the reality - of my favourite London place names. Here's the first instalment.

Kentish Town (Northern Line)
The vision
For some reason, this evoked thoughts of a quaint village back in medieval times, with maids dancing around a fire and small thatched cottages.

The reality
A fairly grim, noisy and tightly packed cluster of flats and shops sandwiched between Camden Town and Highgate. No maids to be found anywhere.

Cockfosters (Piccadilly Line)
The vision
Need I say anything, really?

The reality
A tidy, orderly suburb with rows of white houses and... nothing really spectacular!

Shepherd's Bush (Central Line)
The vision
Fields with sheep, and one bush where the poor shepherd takes shelter when it showers.

The reality
Busy and noisy with giant roundabouts and now with the biggest in-town mall in Europe! The shepherds have long since fled.

Whitechapel (Central Line)
The vision
A white, er, chapel.

The reality
Wide, busy roads lined with kebab shops. More mosques to be found than white chapels.

Friday, November 6, 2009

24 Hours London: The Book Trailer

I know, I know: you're probably all sick to death of hearing about the book. But really, I think you'll like this. The Man and I spent 17 hours last week filming as many locations as we could get to, and I think London looks absolutely amazing!

Thanks to my lovely husband for persevering through horrendous technical details to produce such a great finished product (if I do say so, myself). Watching this trailer really makes me fall in love with London all over again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Day After

Well! What a great launch day; lots of exciting things going on! Great entries below (congrats to Brit in Bosnia); some nice reviews; and most exciting of all, seeing my book on the shelf!

While I trotted up to Notting Hill Gate (where I'd hit up the manager previously) to see my book, the lovely Prospera Publishing team headed over to Daunt Books in Marylebone and Standford's in Covent Garden. And here's what they found!

Daunt Books. I love how my book is blocking out the one behind it!

Squeezed in but holding its own at Stanford's.

(My book was on the shelf at Notting Hill Gate Waterstone's, too, but I'm too lazy right now to download the photo.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

And the Winner Is...

Chosen by a very high-tech method of drawing names out of an empty cupcake box (decadent, I know)....

Brit in Bosnia!

Email your address to and I'll send you the book plus T-shirt! And with the ongoing postal strikes, you should have it just in time for summer.

Thanks to everyone, again!

24 Hours in the Life of a Cyberspace Celebrity

This whole '24 Hours in Your Neck of the Woods' was inspired by a hilarious post by Michael Harling called 24 Hours Horsham. Equally funny (although slightly delusional, if I might add) is the post by Michael below.

Click here to see the full post on its original site.

10am: Wake up. Send manservant to check the post and download the receipts for the week. It’s not as much as last week so you’ll have to scrape by with only £746,837, but in these hard economic times everyone has to tighten their belts.

11am: Sooth aching ego with a brunch of caviar and French champagne.

12pm: Gather lackeys and head for the stables to check on the polo ponies. Engage in pick-up game with lackeys. Make sure they let you win.

1pm: Have servants fill Olympic-sized bathtub with scented water and rose pedals. Invite a few “special” lackeys to join you.

2pm: Snack on canapés and brie on the east portico. Have servants release the hounds to keep gawking admirers at bay.

3pm: Off to your private golf course for another golf lesson from Tiger Woods.

4pm: Write Pond Parley article.

5pm: Show article to lackeys. See to it that they laugh hysterically. Fire those who do not.

6pm: E-mail article to Toni; she’s not busy, she can post it.

7pm: Take stretch limo to Brighton for private dinner at the Brighton Pavilion. Have lackeys follow in a bus.

8pm: Leave Brighton for London. Don’t forget copy of 24Hours: London.

9pm: Hunt for ghosts with London Paranormal:

10pm: Naked disco dancing at Starkers ( ) with “special” lackeys. Send others out for a kabab.

Click here for more.

By Michael Harling

And that's it! Hope you all enjoyed reading the entries as much as I did. Thanks, everyone. Coming up next... the winner of the draw!

24 Hours of Bloggery

To see the full post on the original site, click here.

5am: Wake up, two hours before I should. I hate when that happens.

6am: Finally drift back off to sleep after having mentally galloped through the day’s to-do list

7am: Alarm goes off. Hit the 5 minute snooze button. Prepare to be metaphorically shot out of a canon.

8am: Leave for school with Little Guy, after emotional debate about “cool” versus “warm” clothing. Teenagers have already left although one has left his glasses and the other her violin. Neither has taken keys. Think I will be “out” when they come home at 3.30pm.

9am: Allow myself an hour to do bloggy stuff. Having back issues helps here as I can’t sit for much longer.

10am: Jjump on treadmill. Deliberately donned workout gear first thing, so might as well make use of it all. Plus hair needs a wash.

11am: Apparently, I’ve pulled something.

12 pm: Having burnt off about three million calories, now famished and trying not to devour entire contents of fridge (which would be this week’s leftovers.)

1pm: Write something for PowderRoomGrafitti (dot com). Print off a chapter from next book and rearrange paragraphs for the tenth time. Deal with Mike’s half of Pond Parleys post. (Tut)

2pm: Head for shower. Stop off at laundry room and attempt the west face of the “mountain”.

3pm: Finish laundry and decide shower has to wait. Put on lipstick to distract from hair stuck to head and skanky workout gear. Head out to pick up Little Guy.

4pm: Sit in kitchen and patiently listen to teenage diatribes against school, homework, music practice and the world. Help Little Guy with “oo” words.

5pm: Stare hopelessly into fridge looking for dinner inspiration. (No, I’m not one who plans a week’s menus in advance.) Set to.

For more, click here.

By Toni Hargis

And for our final entry, back to the man who started it all...

24 Hours Montreal

Click here to see the full post on the original site.

7 am – breakfast at l’Avenue – show up early as the lines grow quickly! (922, Mont-Royal East, Plateau, Phone: 514-523-8780, Metro Mont Royal)

8 am – stock up at Jean Talon Market, in the geographic centre of the city. (7075 Casgrain Avenue, Little Italy, Phone: 514-277-1379, Metro De Castelnau/Jean-Talon)

9 am – stroll along Monkland Avenue, visiting chocolate shops, bakeries and pubs. (Monkland Avenue, Notre Dame de Grace, Metro Villa Maria)

10 am – pick up an ice cream (summer only) or a hot chocolate and more at the art deco building of the Atwater Market and stroll along the Lachine Canal. (Atwater Market and Lachine Canal, St-Henri, Metro Lionel-Groulx)

11 am – take a guided tour of Maison St Gabriel, dating from 1668, where les filles de roi, or king's wards, lived upon arrival from France and were taught by Marguerite Bourgeoys. (2146 place Dublin, Pointe-Saint-Charles, Phone: 514-935-8136, Metro Charlevoix (plus a ten minute walk))

12 pm – river surf in the Saint Lawrence! Private lessons are offered through Imagine Surf Shop. (Imagine Surf Shop 01320 Charlevoix, Pointe-Saint-Charles, Phone: 514-504-5522 or 697-0366, Metro Charlevoix)

1 pm – choose your own blend at David’s Tea, or sample some of their top sellers, including Coco Chai Rooibos, Turkish Delight and Organic Pu’erh Ginger. (1207 Mont-Royal East, Plateau, Phone: 514-527-1117, Metro Mont Royal)

2 pm – indulge in cheesecake – or any other cake – at the flagship restaurant of Kilo, purveyors to the Second Cup chain. (1495 Ste-Catherine East, Papineau, Phone: 514-596-3933, Metro Papineau)

3 pm – visit the Sun Life Insurance Company tower, the largest building in the British Empire at the time of its construction in the 1930s, featuring secret vaults where British bonds and stocks – and maybe even the Crown Jewels – were stored, Fort Knox-style, during World War II. (corner of Rene-Levesque and Metcalfe, Metro Bonaventure)

Click here for more.

By the lovely Deniz Bevan (I think she's lovely; she's been super helpful too!)

Whew! Hang in; there's just a few more left! Now over to 24 hours in the life of...

24 Hours London - Midwesterner Edition

Click here to see the full post on the original site.

6 a.m. Arrive at Heathrow. (Can you believe we’re in ENGLAND?!). A bit tired, but I just can’t sleep on planes, they just make me so nervous! I made my husband sit next to the weird man in our row on the plane (I don’t think he even spoke English! How is he going to make it over here?!) No paper towels in the bathroom, though. And how vulgar that they call it the Toilet. But did you see how the signs say “Way Out” instead of “Exit”? How cute!

7 a.m. Just got through customs and immigration! The officer seemed rather ornery if you ask me. Even when I tried to start up a nice conversation with him! I just think that’s so strange because everyone, even John and Sue, our friends who came to London last year, told us that everyone is just so nice! Well, he just must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. And can you believe it?! A stamp in my passport! Isn’t it just darling!

8 a.m. Whew! What a ride! Just arrived at our hotel in Piccadilly Circus (but I don’t see a circus?). We took one of those black cabs! Did you know that they drive on the wrong side of the road here?! I wonder how they do it! I just can’t imagine. I feel so English! Our friends that were here last year told us to avoid the subway at all costs because it’s so dirty. And it’s, well, you know, public transportation. We just don’t do that sort of thing. Oh and isn’t the hotel so quaint! promised us we wouldn’t even know that we weren’t in the States anymore! This building must be so old! Probably from like 1900 or something! How adorable!

9 a.m. We FINALLY got up to our room. Mind you, I called and emailed SEVERAL times to ensure an early check-in. I guess they just don’t know the meaning of customer service here. I’ll have to go back to Expedia and let them know exactly what I think of that. But our room does have a window! And you can see a statue! It must be somebody important! How cute!

10 a.m. We’ve rested for a bit and we’re ready to see the city! it’s a good thing our friends who were here last year told us to bring warm jackets! It’s so gray and rainy. You know, at this time of year at home it’s a little chilly but we always have sun. So we put on our Packers jackets (we LOVE the Packers!) and our tennies and we’re ready to go! I read in the guide book before we left that you should keep your valuables on your person in the big city (you never can trust hotel staff), so I bought this great fanny pack from Wal-mart before we left. It’s leather and everything! (I just love Wal-mart!). Besides, it’s a good thing we both have our Packers jackets so we can spot each other in a crowd in case we get separated.

11 a.m. Just starved! Thank God we found Mickey D’s! I made my hubby try it first to make sure it tastes the same. The last thing I need right now is weird food! It’s not quite the same, but I guess it will have to do. Even the cashier at McDonald’s had that accent! So adorable! Can you imagine! (Although I found her rather hard to understand. They claim to speak English here, but they use a lot of words that I don’t recognize so it can’t be English.)

12 p.m. Our friends who were here last year told us we just HAD to do the open bus tour! Although can you believe they wouldn’t take dollars?! And then they didn’t accept credit cards either?! We finally found an ATM (Can you believe they have those over here? Who knew?!). Isn’t this money funny looking! All different sizes and colors! How darling!

1 p.m. Finally got on the bus tour! Just delightful. Really wonderful! The guide even had an accent! We saw everything there was in the guidebook and how nice to be able to do so without having to do any more walking! And I’ll be darned! There really is a London Bridge! And it’s so cute with those two blue towers on each side!

2 p.m. Just starved again! All this walking can make a person hungry! We found this amazing, authentic pub called Wetherspoon’s! The food was so authentic, and it was so conveniently located right in the middle of everything. And I know it must be good, because there were a lot of people in there. Even lots of other Americans! I had the fish and chips and so did the hubby! Did you know that chips are really french fries! (I wonder if John and Sue knew that when they came here last year!) Just amazing!

2:30 p.m. Good thing we brought stomach medicine from home. I mean, who knows what kind of stuff they’re going to try to sell you here. We’re just not accustomed to this kind of food, you know.

3 p.m. We decided to get a bit crazy and just start walking! So many places to see! Lie-chester square! Totten-ham Court Road!

4 p.m. There is such great shopping around here! Everything you could want! Magnets with Big Ben, shirts that say “I Heart London”, I even got this great bag that has the flag on it and it says “London” across the front! I want to use it tomorrow but won’t that make me look like a tourist? I’m definitely going to pick up one of these cute scarves they have for my daughter. I don’t know what Manchester United is, but it must be English and her favorite color is red!

5 p.m. Oh my! I didn’t realize there would be so many people in England! Or so many cars! It makes it hard to take good pictures when people or busses keep getting in the way! How did John and Sue get so many good pictures?! Theirs were so cute!

Click here for more.

By Miss America England - An American in England

Can't you just visualise these tourists? Yikes. Right, up North for some more Canadian joy...

24 Hours Istabul

Click here to see the full post (with links - for some reason the links didn't come through) on the original site.

8 am – Find a bakery, any bakery, and enjoy a poğaça (pastry filled with white cheese) and tea for breakfast.

9 am – Stroll seaside in the Ortaköy district and check out the booths and stalls selling local handmade items.

10 am – Visit Deli Kızın Yeri (the Crazy Lady’s Place) in the Grand Bazaar, run by expat American Linda, and featuring gifts, housewares, and more from across Turkey.

11 am – Browse the well-stocked Pandora bookstore in Taksim for titles in English, French, German, Turkish... If they don’t have what you’re looking for in-store, it’s bound to be on their website!

12 pm – Take a ferry up the Bosphorus to the Sakıp Sabancı Museum.

1 pm – Take in Ottoman culture at the Pera Museum.

2 pm – Spend a day on car-free Büyük Ada, one of the Princes’ Islands.

3 pm – Explore history at Kariye Cami Museum, the former Byzantine Church of Saint Saviour in Chora.

4 pm – Travel further back in time at Yerebatan Sarnıcı, an underground Roman cistern – there might even be a classical concert on, amongst the pillars and columns and Medusa heads!

5 pm – Follow the winding roads, spotting stray cats, down to Arnavutköy by the Bosphorus, for an ice cream.

6 pm – Feast yourself on Ottoman cooking for very little liras at Otantik Restaurant in Taksim.

7 pm – Visit the residential Levent district and treat yourself to köfte or a yarım puf (meat filled pastry) in the market square.

8 pm – Sample the bouquets at Viktor Levi’s wine bar at Tünel

By Deniz Bevan

Sorry about the links, Deniz (my fault!), but thanks for the great run-down! Now over to the American Midwest for a very different take on London...

24 Hours Rookyard

Click here to read the full post on the original site.

6am: For those of you of an energetic frame of mind on a winter’s morning, a bracing jog round the village is what’s called for. And for those of you who elect to stay in bed: FORGET IT! The Boys heard Dad leave and despite the fact it’s still dark outside they need to get up – NOW!

7am: Indulge your inner child and your outer one’s too with Breakfast by Candlelight because all the lights have fused yet again and Dad took the torch with him on his early morning jaunt to see where he was going – he has yet to return…

8am: For the more adventurous this is the best time to see the only traffic jam in town while you do the school run. The powers that be put on a special show of closing the railway crossing for no apparent reason ten minutes before the train is due to pull into the station. After this delight the excitement intensifies as you try to beat the clock to the school gates avoiding all the traffic lights that are bound to be against you and not running over any of the ducks that always seem to have to cross the road when you are already a quarter of an hour late.

9am: Play Russian roulette with your hands and try to push the broody hen off the eggs. This hilarious pastime can last for hours as you pluck up the courage to thrust your hand underneath the hen one more time in search of eggs that may or may not be there.

10am: Exploration is the order of the hour. Traipse over to the dilapidated ruins, which purport to be barns and stables, as you search for the main power switch for the house. Don’t forget your karabiners, hardhat and climbing harness. Mind the old bats – No! Not me! The Pipistrelles!

11am: Exclusive Goat Herding unique to Rookyard takes place every morning at coffee time. Learn how to identify individual goat breeds and what they like best to eat. Watch in amazement as they opt for prized specimen plants instead of the brambles and nettles you are assured by their Keeper that they prefer. Learn the local Anglo Saxon dialect first hand from your hostess. Help the Keeper take the Goats to pasture and chain them there.

12pm: Get connected or not as the case maybe depending on if there are “works” being carried out on the mainframe/server/aerial/satellite dish. Opt for landline connection and become an expert Lexulous player in the time it takes to download a 1kb e-mail.

1pm: Lunch at the “Like it or Lump it Café” – speciality of the House; piatto di spaghetti al pomodoro served al dente. Possibly luke warm as well.

2pm: Escape to the countryside without leaving the house. Nip to the upstairs privy to pick your own toadstools in the damp corner by the window and to get better acquainted with a family of Starlings, via a small gap in the plasterboard, who for reasons of their own insist on having a concierge service to exit to the outside world.

3pm: Fashionistas, it’s time to dress up to the nines for the Yummy Mummy Run to collect the kids from School. Watch out for Christian Dior, Chanel, Ben de Lisi, YSL and Burberry. For those on a tighter budget there’s Crew, Jack Wills and of course every Mummy’s favourite Boden! (Please note that those wearing St Michel, De Nim and George are not necessarily the blood relatives of the children they are picking up and/or not desperately popular and yes I know nobody is paying me the slightest bit of attention…thanks for pointing it out.)

4pm: Musical interlude: marvel at the dexterity and aptitude of your hostess as she pins her eldest to the piano stool for the “5 Minute Practice” sonata. Please note that this modern piece is accompanied by whines and moans from both hostess and 6-year old pianist.

5pm: Feeding time at the Zoo. A family favourite. Watch how the mother lovingly slaves over a hot stove to provide a nutritious and visually delightful dinner for her two younglings. Chortle as they demand Beans on Toast. Laugh as they refuse to eat anything without lashings of tomato Ketchup and promises of cake and sweeties for afters. Smile discreetly as you notice how much is passed beneath the table to the ever-hopeful hounds…

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By Tattie Weasle

Don't you just want to move in? I know I do - for the humour alone! Now off to Europe for a place that couldn't be more different to Suffolk...

24 Hours Halifax

(Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia, Canada.)

12 midnight - walk across the 1.6 km MacDonald Bridge

1am - do the ghost walk in Camp Hill Cemetery

2am- stroll on the boardwalk at Fishermen's Cove in Eastern Passage

3am- watch the moon rise over Halifax Harbour from the waterfront

4am- enjoy a wake-up coffee at Tim Horton's on Spring Garden Road

5am- visit the Farmer's Market at the Old Brewery

6am- watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean at Sambo Head

7am- begin a kayak trip on the Shubenacadie Canal in Dartmouth

8am- take a ride on the Harbour ferry

9am- visit the Titanic exhibit at the Museum of the Atlantic

10am- visit the Titanic graves in the Fairview Cemetery

11am- take the Harbour Hopper tour of Halifax

12noon- watch(and hear) the gun ritual at the Halifax Citadel

1pm- swim at Black Rock beach (if you dare!)

2pm- enjoy lunch at a harbour-side cafe

3pm- parasail on the Bedford Basin

4pm- kite-surf at Lawrencetown Beach

5pm- climb the rocks at Peggy's Cove

6pm- enjoy a whale watching cruise

7pm- feed the red squirrels at Shubie Park

8pm- take a dinner cruise on the harbour

9pm- watch the sunset at Hartlin Point

10pm- attend Shakespeare in the Park play at Point Pleasant Park

11pm- watch a free cinema on the waterfront boardwalk

By Mary and Don Moore

Yup, that was my parents! Thanks, Mum and Dad! And now back to the UK for a very entertaining next 24 hours.

24 Hours Tuzla

(Click here for the whole post on the original site.)

No-one writes guide books for Tuzla. Even the official Bosnia guide book says, somewhat diplomatically, that this area isn't really set up for tourism. So, here we go, the 24 hour guide for Tuzla.

5am: All quiet, except the yowling of the stray dogs. Stay in bed and put duvet over head to try and drown out the sound.

6am: At some point during this hour the early morning call to prayer will go off. People start to get up, but I advise remaining in bed with duvet over head.

7am: Everyone up and about and off to work. Many people haven't had any coffee yet, so strongly advise not making contact with anyone until they have had their caffeine hit.

8am: Office hours start at 8am. Things start to open. Pop into a bakers to pick up some pastries, chocolate and jam are widely available. The bread is also freshly baked and excellent.

9am: Venture out into town. Pop into a cafe to plan your day. Coffee, in the form of espresso will be available wherever you are. If you are feeling braver ask for a kafa domaci, which is like a Turkish coffee, complete with turbo fuelled sludge at the bottom. Drink it black and very sweet.

10am: Remember that you have some outstanding bureaucratic issues to deal with. You are in Bosnia after all and your stay is not complete if you do not do battle with bureaucracy somewhere. Find appropriate ministry and enter. Leave shortly afterwards as everyone is on a 'pauza' and having coffee.

11am: Head for a stroll in the centre of town. The new square, trg sloboda (Freedom Square) is a very pleasant place to sit by the fountain under the tree and watch the town pass by. If you are lucky you may see a wedding spilling out of the registry office, with all the brass bands, photo sessions and throwing of money before the drama moves on elsewhere. Then, move along past the cafes and down the pedestrainised Korzo.

12pm: Attempt to complete bureaucratic procedure. Everyone now having lunch. Go to the market instead and browse all sorts of things from mobile phone covers to jeans to fruit and honey.

1pm: Lunch. Should the weather be agreeable do find a restaurant which allows you to sit outside. The restaurant Krcma, near Trg Sloboda is a great place. Cheap and quick, but serves good food whilst sitting outside on wooden benches. It is all pedestrianised to small children can run rampant outside without causing too much trouble. Although do try to prevent them running into the nearby mosque (which is beautiful) as this is not a good thing.

2pm: Head out to the park Slana Banja on the north side of town. The new playground is now open, but muddy. The park itself has some great views over the town as well as some good clay tennis courts.

3pm: Wander down to the Pannonika Lakes (newly built salt water lakes) for a swim. If you are here during winter these will be shut, but they may have erected an ice skating rink and trampolines instead.

4pm: Head up to the park of Ilincica up on the hills to the south of the city. Here the woods have a certain mystical quality to them, but beware the epic amounts of rubbish that blight this beautiful place.

5pm: It has been at least 3 hours since you had coffee. How are you still standing? Find a cafe, any cafe and reinject yourself with caffiene. A good one to go to is the one by the pedestrian bridge over the river/sludge fest ditch which also serves good cakes.

Click here for more!

by Brit in Bosnia

Love it! Now back over to Canada for some more 24-hour action.

24 Hours Toronto

Photo by Jen Keay

Sunrise - Watch the sunrise over the city skyline from the Humber River bridge, located at the mouth of the Humber River. From here, savour the ice cream colored flavours of the sky as they soon fade to a lovely yellow before turning to a picture perfect blue.

The 139-metre pedestrian-bicycle bridge connects several trails along a scenic waterfront park. The double-arched bridge emphasizes the cultural history of a gateway between Toronto and Etobicoke, and an aboriginal trading route linking Lake Ontario to the north. The design of the Bridge was inspired by motifs and artefacts of the first inhabitants of the site. Interpretive plaques trace the history of the area and compare the engineering of canoes to that of the bridge.
Time for Breakfast! Jump on the street car or the Red Rocket as they call it and make your way to the St Lawrence Market. In 1803, this area was officially designated as the "Market Block." Since 1901, the South St. Lawrence Market has been known primarily for its fruits, vegetables, meat and cheese. Today, there are over 120 vendors on the site.

Open 6 days a week (closed Sundays), there is a consistent hustle and bustle of people trading cash for flavourful treats – to be eaten now or later. A breakfast favourite is a delicious egg, cheese and peameal bacon sandwich on a soft, fresh bun. Carousel Bakery is said to have the best peameal bacon sandwich – line up and judge for yourself. For what it is worth, it is a favourite of Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse. The Bakery also offers a tasty selection of sandwiches, breads and pastries. In the summer you can head outside to a picnic table to enjoy your treat or find a bench inside and watch the commerce unfold in front of you eyes.

Eggs not your thing? - For the more adventurous, not needing to inhale eggs at this time of the morning, head down the stairs to Mustachio. Specialties include monstrous sandwiches of veal with fried eggplant, grilled chicken breast; veal parmegiano, all served, in the Italian tradition, with tomato sauce, fried onions and peppers on warm foccacia bread. The portions are just like your Nona would make – the veal parmesan sandwich is enough for two. You won’t leave disappointed or hungry guaranteed!

Shop, shop and shop! - Continue to wander through the market taking in the sights and sounds. Listen to the different languages, accents and take in the smells of cheese, seafood, and other goodies. There are over 120 merchants to check out. Stop by Kozlik’s Mustard it offers over 30 different types of mustard ranging from sweet to out of this world spicy! Interesting fact - 90% of the world’s mustard is grown in Canada and is the second most popular spice in the world next to black pepper.

Canada’s past time - Check out all of the hockey memorabilia and history you can possible fathom! It is both museum and a hall of fame. A beautiful and historic building houses the history and trivia of Canada’s favourite game! You might even get to see and touch the prized Stanley Cup on display in the Great Hall! Its first permanent building opened at Exhibition Place in 1961. In the '90s, the Hall began outgrowing its location and was relocated to a former bank building in downtown Toronto in 1993, where it is presently located.

Look waaaayy up - Much of the Toronto Skyline is filled with headquarters of many of the country’s big banks, law firms, corporate head offices and stock brokerages. Below the skyline’s ground exists an underground world, named the PATH. The PATH weaves underground for approximately 27Km and is filled with more than 1200 shops, restaurants and coffee shops; connects 48 office buidlings; hotels; and includes 5 subway stops.

CN tower – A Toronto and Canadian landmark erected 35 years ago and once known as the “tallest free standing structure on land in the world”, a title held this title held for 31 years until it was surpassed by the Burj Dubai. The CN Tower stands 553.33M tall. The tower’s intent was to serve as a large TV and radio communication platform for the Toronto area, as well as demonstrate the strength of Canadian industry – in particular, the national railway company, CN.

Go TEAM Go! - Right next door is the Rogers Centre, previously known as the SkyDome, home of the baseball team the Toronto Blue Jays, twice World Series winners and Canadian football team, the Toronto Argonauts. On a clear day, the roof opens to bring the outdoors in to sit back, relax and watch a sporting event. It was the first stadium to have a fully retractable motorized roof and hotel attached to it. Take in a game from the 500 hundreds section to feel like you are on top of the world.

Time for lunch! – Head to Chinatown! Regardless of the day of the week, this area of this city is a hub of activity. On the weekend, be prepared to share the sidewalk as it is flooded with vendors and people. You can find inexpensive dim sum, pho and other asian treats. Experience Peking duck served in two courses at the Bright Pearl, or visit the Golden Leaf for dim sum available day long. The red cow on the sign of Pho Hung marks Toronto’s favourite destination for real Vietnamese beef pho. If you go to the Pho Hung on a weekend, be prepared to wait and once you are done, you are not expected to stick around. All of these places can be found on Spadina Ave. Once you have indulged, wander through the shops for unique finds of dishware, home electronics and clothing. Or stay on the sidewalk and taste the wide selection of Asian fruits enveloped in the prickliest of skins.

Step into another land! - Right next door, just to the west of Chinatown is Toronto's most unique neighbourhood, Kensington Market. This area is a maze of narrow streets and alleys, lined with brightly-coloured Victorian houses. The market got its start in the 1920s, when it was a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood. Families would set up stands in front of their homes and sell their goods to one another. This is a charming and diverse area made up of an eclectic mix of vintage clothing stores, grocers, restaurants and cafes. This area is a true reflection of the city’s multicultural mix – shops packed with goods from Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East, South America and Asia. With every step, there is something unique to feast your eyes upon. This is one area where you will not find a Starbucks!

Need to hug a tree? – Head down to the water to take in picturesque views of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands. The Islands are made up of three major islands as well as some smaller islands. On board the ferry, head up to the upper deck and take in the skyline, the meandering sailboats and kayaks. The view of Toronto’s skyline across the water is worth the trip alone. In 10 minutes you will be transported to a peaceful, tree filled area of picnic spots, marinas, volleyball courts, and even a small amusement park for the kiddies. The islands are a pleasant reprieve from the quick pace and noise of the city.

Sundown! – Head uptown to Yorkville, affectionately referred to as the “Mink Mile’. During the Toronto International Film Festival, this is the place to watch for Hollywood stars! Even when TIFF is not on, this is a great place to shop at high end boutiques filled with designers from abroad and from right here in Canada. To watch the sunset over the city take the elevator up to the top floor of the Manulife Centre to Panorama. Enjoy the 360 degree view over drinks and dinner. It is a city favourite for best cocktails, best view and best place for a romantic date.

Downtown – In a cab or on foot, head back down Yonge Street and take in the lights that line the storefronts along this major thoroughfare. Head to Yonge- Dundas Square, Toronto’s take on Picadilly Circus and Times Square. Feast your eyes on the brilliance and non stop movement of lights. It was formerly listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the longest street in the world at 1896 km. It was also the site of Canada's first subway line and is the dividing line between the east and west parts of Toronto.

Prepared to be entertained! - The Entertainment District is the place to be to dance the night away. With bars, pubs, nightclubs and the theatres, you are sure to find a place to suit your tastes. Or you could head west to the Drake Hotel. The Drake hotel is said to be “….filled with thoughtful contradictions and an intriguing intersection of new and old. A popular sushi bar, busy dining room, live indie music venue, luxe crashpad hotel rooms, neighborhood-friendly corner cafe, urban vegetable garden, general store and year round roof top Sky Yard patio all happily coexist within our ever-changing hotbed for culture”. This is not only is a hotel and a place to eat, it is the place to be whether it is in the Lounge, on the Skyyard, or in the Underground.

By Jen Keay

Thanks, Jen! Now, across the ocean to Bosnia...

24 Hours in Your Neck of the Woods... The Round-Up!

Can I just say... I've loved what everyone's written! Funny, informative, each with its own take on the local area.

In fact, they're so good that I'm going to post each one in their entirety (for those with blog links, I'll post the first half or so, then link to your blog for more). The winner of the draw will be announced in a final post at the end.

So here we go, with a beautifully written 24 Hours Toronto!

24 Hours London - The Oscar Speech

Well, it's launch day and there's a plethora of activities going on -- including my 24 Hours Twitter Marathon (and yes, I have been up since 5 a.m. so please ignore any typos, etc).

Being a travel book and all, I didn't get to do an acknowledgments page. But there are, of course, loads of people I want to thank. So... here they are!

The Man: for encouraging me to try to do my writing thang, seeing through my feeble excuses, poking me in the butt and, in general, motivating me to actually start doing what I want!

Friends and Family: for not telling me I was a complete loon when I dropped my corporate job to start writing.

Blog, Twitter and WAG friends (India, Elle, Nancy, Tim, Deniz, and loads of others I'm sure I'll remember at 3 a.m. tonight): for understanding writer angst and isolation, for helping me to procrastinate, for lifting my spirits and providing a great sense of community. And for writing reviews on short notice!

Prospera Publishing (my publishers): for being so great to work with!

And finally...

Mike Harling and Toni Hargis: for endorsing and promoting the book, and being really really helpful! If they ever decide to retire from writing, they definitely have a career in book promotion!

Coming up later tonight... '24 Hours in Your Neck of the Woods' Round-Up Post and Winner!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Remember, Remember, the Fourth of November

I was going to blog about the Fourth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot and all that. But when I doubled-checked Wikipedia, I was reminded - as all good Brits know - that Guy Fawkes Day is actually the fifth of November.

So. I'll write more about the fifth of November on the actual day (and yes, I know that today is actually the third but I was going to cleverly tie my book launch into it... ah well). And I'll leave you with a little reminder of my own: if you want to enter my contest to win a copy of my book (see sidebar), email me your entry at before 5 pm GMT tomorrow.

And please join me at some point tomorrow during my 24 Hour Twitter Marathon!

Have a great Third of November!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Mish-Mash

My brain is still fried from the weekend exertions, so please forgive the scrambled nature of this post! The Man and I hit just over 35 locations for my London book trailer in one day, starting out at Little Venice (one of my favourite parts of the city) and ending - of course - in Soho. We got some great footage, though, and now the arduous task of stringing it all together into a short 90 seconds begins. Thank goodness I'm married to a film-type person who has a clue, because I certainly don't. It may still be a week or so until it's ready, so watch this space.

A few more days to get in '24 Hours in Your Neck of the Woods' (see sidebar for more details). I'll announce the winner on Wednesday, Nov 4, at 5 p.m. GMT and you have until then to send me your entry. We've got some great entries so far, so a giant thank you to all who participated!

Starting at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, I'm going to be doing a 24-Hour Twitter Marathon from my 24 Hour City account, with some re-tweets from Marshawrites. I'll be streaming content through this blog, too, so pop by to see if I'm still awake!

On Wednesday, too, I'll be guest posting at Nicola Morgan's awesome blog Help, I Need a Publisher!, talking about my publishing journey. If you're a writer looking to get published (as most of us are), then you need to check out Nicola's great advice!

And finally, 24 Hours London was reviewed today by the London blog Londonist. Click here to see it!

And I think that's everything. Whew!