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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick. http://www.faysampson.co.uk

24 Hours in London

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ September 14, 2012

As much as I love research trips that take me across the water to some of my favorite spots ( I'm often accused of choosing the settings of my books by where i want to go next— which is perfectly true) the down side of that is that I never go any place as just a tourist. if a site isn't on my research list, I don't take time for it.

That's why having a whole 24 hours of my own in London at the end of my recent research trip was pure luxury.

At least, that's how it turned out. I wasn't so sure at first. The day before I received a message from the friend I had planned to stay with that she had a family emergency and had to fly to Paris. Well, certainly London is full of (expensive) hotels. I didn't exactly worry that I'd be on the street, but my first thought turned to other friends (unavailable) and to the monks I had stayed with before (moved). How about the nuns my son-in-law stayed with?  No longer taking guests. Did they know of any other religious houses? Yes! The Franciscan Sisters of Malta— Right behind Victoria Station.

My room was so narrow I could literally touch both walls with my arms outstretched, but it was heaven-sent.

And then I had the rest of the afternoon free to wander around and gaze along the streets of the most beautiful, cleanest London I have ever seen. 

I lingered in St. George's Chapel in Westminster Cathedral where our son-in-law proposed to our daughter.

 

Walked around Parliament Square 

 

 

with Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln.                 

Attended Evensong at Westminster Abbey.

 

 

 

 

Strolled through St. James Park.

 

 

 

 

Walked around Buckingham Palace.

 

 

 

 

 

Had my picture taken with the Queen.

Ate Houmous and flatbread outside a pub.

And then, 2 minutes before showtime, strolled into the Victoria Apollo theatre where "Wicked" was playing and asked if they had any seats left. They had one. The 20-something young man gave me a cheeky grin and inquired, "Might you qualify for a concession?" (Can you imagine a more polite way of being asked if you're old?) I agreed that I certainly did. He gave me the ticket for 1/3 the original price. And a great show it is! (In case you don't know— it's the backstory of the Wizard of Oz.)

The next morning breakfast with an Irish nun who said she can't wait to read my Monastery Murders and a Maltese ballerina. Then the tube to Heathrow and HOME! 

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

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Reader Comments:

This was a WONDERFUL 'report' of your totally lovely day in London, Donna! I enjoyed and delighted in every word and most especially the great photos you are so kind to share. Reading and looking at this just "made my day" - it's almost midnight and this is my last activity before tomorrow!
-Carolyn Gilbert, September 14, 2012

Loved the photos, Donna. Though photos are slow-loading (or, at times, impossible) here in the forested hollow, I waited these out. I am so glad I did. For many years I dreamed of, one day, visiting London. These intimate photos gave me a peek.

Now, I HOPE I can get past the captchas. Once I had to try eight times before I made it.
-Radine, September 15, 2012

A lovely description Donna, & excellent photos too! I'm glad you enjoyed your day in London. I was born & brought up in south east London & I must admit I always feel nostalgic when I return to London - it still gives me such a buzz.
-scskillman, September 15, 2012

Yes,SC, "buzz" is the right word for London--especially this time with everything so shiny and spakling for the Olympics. I even met one of the famous volunteers on St. James Park who very kindly gave me a map I much needed.
Carolyn and Radine, thank you. I loved sharing.I am sorry about the captchas,Radine. I hate them, too--but I was getting sooo much spam.
-Donna, September 15, 2012

It must have been terrific, Donna, to have a whole day off in London and it certainly sounds as if you made the most of it! One of my favourite walks is to stroll down the Embankment, with the Thames beside me. My cousin was an olympic Volunteer and really enjoyed helping all the visitors - and was there when Lewis Smith won a silver medal! London's got so much to see its hard to know where to start. I'm really glad you enjoyed your day!
-Dolores, September 17, 2012

Sounds a wonderful day. We didn't get into the city on our trip but your pictures bring back memories.
-Sheila Deeth, September 18, 2012

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