Travels inspired by the Wombles

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Omsk, Tomsk, Minsk and Smolensk

In Silverland Dervla Murphy writes that she once had four cats called Omsk, Tomsk, Minsk and Smolensk. Well, it sounds better than Slough, Reading, Basingstoke and Fareham.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

To Tomsk by train

Did you know that the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Tomsk only departs on odd dates? Neither did I. This gem of trivia came to light as part of the planning for the Tomsk part of the book. The idea is to include the TSR Moscow-Tomsk on the outward route. More news as and when...

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Mud, mud...

According to the Evening Standard, the Wombles are reforming for this year's Glastonbury.

My mind-boggle-o-meter just went off the scale.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

The fall and rise of Wimbledon

I paid a visit to the Wimbledon Museum of Local History this weekend. It's free, and staffed by enthusiastic volunteers. Wimbledon seems to have had its ups and downs over the centuries, until it became an attractive place for politicians such as William Pitt and Charles James Fox to stay or to live. Pitt even fought a duel on the Common in 1798.

The area started to develop apace in the late 19th century with the advent of reliable public transport in the shape of trains, trams and buses. The idea of a 'workman's fare' of 1d (less than a halfpenny nowadays) to travel on the trams before 7am sounds surreal, a century later.

I liked the stuffed peacock, too! (That must have taken a while...)

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

In deepest London this week...

I delivered a copy of the manuscript (to date) to a well-known literary agency, at their request. Hopefully they will like the final, complete version and find me a publisher!