Friday, August 27, 2010

Notting Hill Carnival!

Yes, I have been a very bad blogger. On this blog, anyway. I have some nice photos to post of a little jaunt down Regents Park Canal, but downloading them created multiple issues and I got tired of trying. Maybe next week!

It's the August Bank Holiday weekend -- the last holiday before Christmas! And every year at this time, almost a million people flock to the Notting Hill Carnival for music, food and the pinnacle of it all: the Parade, where hundreds of drummers pound out the beat as crowds line the streets.

Here's a few photos from last year's celebrations to get you in the mood.

Have a great long weekend!

Monday, August 16, 2010

On Author Nicola Morgan's Blog...

Happy Monday!

Today I'm over at author Nicola Morgan's blog talking about, well, blogs! Since I started my Talli Roland blog, I've seen a massive difference in the increase of followers over there versus here.

Why? Click to read more!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Life of an Expat

I read this post by Kim in Dublin on expat frustrations and it just clicked with me. Living in a place long-term is far, far different than spending a week there. Real life -- miles from your family and everything you're used to -- is often hard work and, once the shiny glow wears off and routine descends, sometimes downright lonely.

It takes awhile to make your home in a brand new place and to build up a network of friends. One of the things I find most challenging is that London's a revolving door. Often the good friends I make leave to go up North, back to Canada or America or Australia or Spain or... you get the picture. I've been here for six years and in that time more friends have come and gone than I can shake a stick at (not that I can find a stick to shake in central London). Of course it's better to have loved and lost, but still!

Life in a new country is exciting and a wonderful experience. But that doesn't mean it's always going to be easy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Boris Bikes

We didn't get off to a good start with the new Barclays Cycle Hire scheme (or Boris Bikes, as I like to call them). We registered, then waited and waited... and waited to get our keys in the post. I rang them up to ask where our keys were, only to be told they'd call back. Which, of course, they didn't. Then we got a notice in the post saying someone didn't pay the postage and we had to cough up £1.10 to get our letter.

And guess what? Surprise, surprise: Transport for London hadn't put the proper postage on our keys. Not a great beginning. But once we got on our bikes, it all changed. Sure, it was a bit difficult figuring out the logistics of the whole thing (redocking was a bit of a mystery -- there didn't seem to be any instructions but there were plenty of confused people around) but once we sorted it out, we had a great time flying through Hyde Park on our Boris Bikes. The bikes themselves are quite heavy and the handlebars very sensitive but they're comfortable enough for short journeys.

There's something very magical about moving around London on a bike. It makes you see how small the city actually is -- we went from Kensington to Leicester Square in about twenty minutes! I loved gliding under the trees, past Buckingham Palace and right into Trafalgar Square. Riding over Tower Bridge was another story (and not one I'd like to repeat anytime soon), but it was certainly an experience.

It's the second weekend the bikes are available and we felt a bit like stars as people pointed and stared. Many actually stopped to talk to us about the bikes and it was great to see Londoners chatting with each other -- something that never happens on the Tube!

I loved the bikes and despite my rather sore butt I'll definitely be out again soon!

Friday, August 6, 2010

One Year On

All week I've been meaning to post and all week I forgot! I've been busy working on edits for The Hating Game and my mind has been swamped with character arcs and plot points. Today I finished this round of edits and sent it off, breathing a big sigh of relief. I'm desperate to take some time away from it!

Then I got some great news from The Times' Travel Editor: my article 'Paris for Kids' came out today! If you subscribe to The Times, you can check it out here.

And... Sunday if my first wedding anniversary with The Man! For schmoopy photos, head over to my Talli Roland blog.

Happy weekend!