Literary Dispatches from London: An Introduction
I recently returned from a great vacation in London with my sisters and my mother. No kids. No spouses. Just us. It was the first time that we’d ever done anything like that and this trip was incredibly healing and fun, too. It’s been a little over a year since my dad passed away, and here was an opportunity to reconnect, recharge, and experience something new.
I grew up in a house of books. Reading was something that we did. I’ve spoken often about the value of local, small public libraries. It’s where I spent my summers. In our house, there were usually five or more books laying around that somebody was working through, often multiple books at the same time. So, of course, in London and during our day trips out of London we were naturally drawn to the culture and literature that comes from this iconic place.
Through Airbnb, we rented a three-bedroom apartment in the Little Venice neighborhood of London for the week. It was just a few blocks from the big Paddington Station (see...the literary connections are already coming out. “A Bear Called Paddington” was published in October 1958 and written by British author Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fornum. The station has a great store with all things Paddington bear.) I wasn’t aware that London had canals, but I do now. The Little Venice neighborhood was beautiful. There were nice restaurants and pubs all around, including some located in modified houseboats.
Of course we did all the usual things that people do on their first trip to London, but I really enjoyed seeing the literary places and spaces that inspired some of my favorite stories. Over the coming days and weeks, I’ll be posting more formal dispatches related to our adventures, which I hope you enjoy. I’m not a travel expert, but I do love experiencing places that are new and getting out of the regular routine. I think that such activity is the fuel for creativity. It prevents the mind from becoming stagnant, and I know it has inspired me to think about things from different perspectives. Stories surround us, and I can’t wait to share a few of the stories I learned.
JD Trafford is the award winning author of six novels, including “Little Boy Lost” which has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide. His latest best-selling legal thriller “Without Precedent” is available now. You can learn more about or purchase J.D. Trafford’s books at https://www.jdtrafford.com/the-books