Thursday, May 22, 2008


1.Memorize all the lyrics to “London Bridge is Falling Down”
Change title of song when realize what a terrible thing to sing and change to “God save the Queen” and “We are the Champions” by Queen.
2.Order British Pounds from bank
The conversation went something like this:
ME: I’d like 100 dollars worth of British Pounds. How many is that?
BANK: 50.
ME: WHAT!!?? In Norway I got 6 Kroner for each of my dollars. That is so unfair…okay then I want $200 worth of Pounds.
BANK: That will be $210 and it will take two days to get them.
ME: TWO DAYS!!?? Okay. Do you think that’s enough? Should I get more?
BANK: uh I don’t know. I’ve never been to London.
ME: Maybe I should get $300. How about $300?
BANK: It’s up to you -- we really can’t give you advice on how much to buy.
ME: Why not? If you sell them you really ought to help your customers decide how much to buy…
I don’t why I was suddenly disconnected…that’s okay. I had to get back to reading my DK guide to London from cover to cover.
3.Read all six (well five) of the shortlisted books.

Nancy Huston Fault Lines

Told from the POV of four 6 year olds - a wonderful book for those of us who adore mysteries and family secrets...

Sadie Jones The Outcast

Terrific for those of us who loved Atonement and who are attracted to those bad boys from the other side of the tracks...

Charlotte Mendelson When We Were Bad

You like family sagas? This is a wonderfully hilarious book about a dysfunctional family that even put my relatives to shame. Caution: Nose alert! Do not read while drinking liquid.

Heather O’Neill Lullabies for Little Criminals

You like to be taken to another place? I fell in love with 12 year old Baby like you will. Filled with authenticity, grittiness and hope.

Rose Tremain The Road Home

Do you enjoy reading about the transformation of an endearing character? The journey of Lev will leave you breathless.

Patricia Wood Lottery

What can I say about this debut by Patricia Wood? What's that? oh er nevermind. That's me.

The Orange Prize Committee had CELEBRITIES review the six novels.

I was lucky enough to get MATTHEW RHYS which I am completely pleased with.

You can hear me read an excerpt of LOTTERY HERE.

4. Plead with all my English blog buddies (and anyone else for that matter) to offer suggestions of edibility and useful travel tips.
5. And last but not least:
Check temperature for London
48 degrees: Pack snowsuit
Check temperature for London
71 degrees: Take out snow suit and pack shorts
Check temperature for London
55 degrees: Replace shorts with long underwear
Check temperature for London
66 degrees: Keep long underwear and put shorts back in.
Check temperature for London
51 degrees: Decide not to check temperature for London anymore…


Travis Erwin said...

Good luck. I'm pulling for you. did you know the actual London Bridge now sits in Lake Haveseau (sp?), Arizona?

laughingwolf said...


don't forget, in london EVERYTHING costs more than just about anywhere else on the planet, $300 is about $150 gbd [pound sterling] and won't go far if you plan on an extensive stay... you can easily go thru 500 gbd in no time

hoping you end up with the big ORANGE, my friend... that's my fave color, btw ;)

Katrina Stonoff said...

Oh, how FUN!!

Don't worry too much about money. You can use a credit card for almost everything, exactly like we do here. And if you run out of cash, there are ATMs everywhere.

Just don't forget your exactly spending twice what the receipt says!

Katrina Stonoff said...

On second thought?

Go ahead and forget you're actually spending twice as much as you think. It's London! Have a great time, and figure out how to pay for it later!

(See why my husband doesn't like me to travel abroad?)

ORION said...

That's right Travis!! I forgot!
I want everyone to know I'm blogging every day that I'm there AND doing photos...Just like I did when I was in New York for the first time.

Janet said...

Have a smashing good time, Pat.

Which direction are you flying by the way? You must be pretty much halfway around the world no matter how you slice it. If you fly over Canada, that will be me holding my thumb out about an hour before Gander...

ORION said...

I go to LA -- have a three hour layover and then to London...approx. 18 hours travel time.

Janet said...

OK, in that case tell the pilot to look out for me. (You will have me back in time for my son's wedding, right?)

Polly Kahl said...

London's great! I hope you've left time for play and siteseeing. There's so much to see. Definitely use the ATM but in a pinch there are little exchange shops all over the place that will convert money for a small fee. Things are a little more expensive but if you convert your money it will just about even out, due to their prices compared to ours. So plan to take the same amount you would take for a trip to NYC or L.A. plus a little more, and it will convert correctly for you. Have fun and I look forward to reading about it here!

LadyBronco said...

Pat ~

Best of luck!

Having never been to London I can't give you any practical advice ~ so have fun, take lots of pictures, and bring home that prize!
(I know you will - Lottery was fantastic!)

nancorbett said...

I adore London. But then, the last time I went to London, the weather was better there than it was in Seattle.

I don't suppose you'd go there for the weather...

Don't worry about the cash. ATMs are everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Hey Patricia! It's BPM without a blogger account. Forget about the pounds and just bring your AMEX. I have no travel tips other than go catch some drum n bass, London is ground zero for that, and enjoy the ale at pubs. And please bring me back a smoking hot British babe. ;-) Best of luck!

Chumplet said...

My birthday is June 1 and I'm taking June 2nd off work -- I'll keep an eye and an ear on the news to see if you're a winner.

Good luck and have oodles of fun!

Stephen Parrish said...

Lucky you. Have fun. And good luck on June 4.

Lord, don't send me to Heaven when I die, send me to London instead.

---a Londoner I met in a hotel elevator

ChrisEldin said...

You go girl!!!!


Leatherdykeuk said...

It's actually rather warm here at present, but do bring a brolly.

Kiskadee said...

Hi Pat!
If you have time try to take in a musical, a gorgeous experience.
And another thing you could do is meet up with a certain friend called Sharon...

Erin Miller said...

Good Luck!

This is my first visit to your blog, and I had to give a shout out for the Queen references!

Happy B-day today and have a great time in London!

Katie Alender said...

Happy birthday, Pat!

ORION said...

eeekkkk!!!! That's right! It's my birthday today.
Friday the 23rd!!!
I need coffee...

Mary said...

Happy Birthday, Pat!

Have a wonderful trip. Fingers crossed for the prize!!

You’ll find London v. expensive, especially with the current exchange rate.

Lisa said...

Joyeux anniversaire!
Buon compleanno!
생일 축하합니다!
Gratulerer med dagen!
Feliz cumpleaños!
С Днем Рождения!
Feliz aniversário!
If there are any errors in these, please blame Google Translate. Happy Birthday.

mlh said...

Happy Birthday, Patricia!

You didn't really forget, did you?

laughingwolf said...

ooops! happy birthday!

ORION said...

I think the Russian one reads:
"May your goat get older before he takes the train."

Saskia said...

Happy Birthday, Pat!

Kiskadee said...

Well, I'll say it again; that post above, from Saskia, is from me. I didn't realise my daughter was signed in under her own name! So I'll repeat it in my own name: MANY HAPPY RETURNS!!

The Fifties are absolutely the greatest, as you already know!

Ello said...

Good luck! And here's hoping you don't get gouged too much by the sterling!

And by the way, if you have a chance, would you do me a favor and help me promote a guest I have coming to my blog Wednesday?

Dr. Gigi Durham, the author of the Lolita Effect, the media sexualization of young girls and what we can do about it, is guest appearing on my blog this coming WEdnesday to answer questions on this very important topic. It would be wonderful if you could help spread the word or at the very least stop by and be part of our Q&A discussions.

Thanks for helping out and best of luck in London. I am rooting for you!

Ken Armstrong said...

Lived in London for fifteen years.

Want some advice?

Buy More Pounds.


And bring home the Orange!!

Chumplet said...

Orange Day is on the 4th, not the 2nd. Silly me, I'll be at work but I'll certainly watch for news.

C said...

One thing you're definitely going to want to buy every day you're there is a day pass for the Underground, prices vary depending on the zones you're travelling in (it should be 1&2 mostly but if you're getting the tube from Heathrow you'll need a 1-6 pass on those days) Here's the link

Eating can be expensive but there's the usual fare of McDonalds, KFC etc which is priced roughly the same but will cost you double due to the exchange rate.

A lot of the touristy stuff is free or cheap but if you plan to go to a show be prepared to pay approximately £20 a ticket.

I'd say £30 per person, per day just for travel and food. Any fun stuff will cost you extra.