Sunday, 1 June 2008

But will it melt the fuselage?

Partly cloudy, humid, warm - temps 25

We're in Baah-th. Phew. Just walked back through the gorgeous city after having Afternoon Tea at the Royal Crescent Hotel. Outside, in the walled garden. It was other-worldly. We were exhausted after the flight and train etc...but it was so peaceful back there. Sipping Darjeeling and eating cucumber and salmon and egg sandwiches, and scones with Devonshire cream and strawberry preserves. Beside the roses in full bloom and foxglove - all the lush early summer flowers.

One of those moments of complete contentment.

It's been a long day, of course. Woke up in Montreal - caught 9:40pm flight to London - got a 11am train from Paddington to Bath. Then taxi to our hotel (not the famous Royal Crescent but one called Dukes Hotel - very nice. Perhaps just a little tired - so it's a good fit with us). Then Michael and I debated whether we should have a nap - it was 2pm - or push through. We decided to unpack and go for a walk - heading across Bath to the high tea.

What a beautiful city. I've never been here before. I didn't realize it's so small. It is, in many ways, like Old Quebec City. Both are Unesco World Heritage sites - because of their rich history and stunning, unique beauty. The architecture is completely different, but the feel is oddly similar.

So happy to be here.

Though we had the BEST flight. Can you guess what happened? Yes - an upgrade! I almost fell on my knees blubbering. We've given up completely on Air Canada and switched to British Airways for flights to London. So far after 25 years flying AC and not a single upgrade we've been upgraded on BA twice in a year to Business Class. Dear Lord - they almost had to call security to get us off the plane when it arrived. It's fabulous. Lie-flat beds. Need I say more?

Actually, the man across the aisle from me farted the entire way across the Atlantic but that could have happened in economy as well, to even greater effect. But this was bad enough. So pungent was the smell I was slightly surprised the oxygen masks didn't descend.

It reminded me of a story I heard at Malice Domestic about Jeffrey Deaver, whose dog pooped in the middle of a party he was giving and the fumes were so noxious it set off his fire alarms.

This man had a bit of the mutt about him.

But still, for an upgrade I was willing to hold my breath for 6 hours.

We're actually in the UK to go to CrimeFest, which is an annual convention for mystery writers and readers. Never been to it but I'm on two panels so it should be fun. It's down the road in Bristol and starts Thursday.

On our way back to the hotel we picked up some diet cokes, a Sunday London Times, a magazine on the Cotswolds, a salad and a sandwich. We're going to nest. And emerge in time for breakfast tomorrow and lunch at the Pump Room with Teresa, my agent.

Hope all's well with you! I have a funny story to tell you about the Audie Awards in Los Angeles, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Take care.


Elizabeth said...

Laughed out loud at your description of your experience on BA. By the way, I love the humour in your books--more please. I thought of you today when I attended a Queen's University alum barbeque at the Speaker's house up in Kingsmere. They had brought in the TOUR GUIDES FROM PARLEMENT, complete with their Pan Am uniforms and orthopedic shoes! Our guide admitted that she had only had a 10-minute crammer on the house, which is not ordinarily open to the public and that she was slightly embarrassed at having to show us the Speaker's personal bedroom and bathroom. I noticed people checking out what toiletry products he uses--Body Shop. Most of the house has sadly been done over in Government of Canada hotel chic. It has been totally robbed of the atmosphere it must have had when MacKenzie King lived (and died) in it. I wanted to know where he held his seances. Enjoy Bath. Are you a Jane Austen fan?

Elizabeth said...

Yikes, what has happened to my spelling! . It must have been the effect of the tour. "Parliament".

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Elizabeth,

Damn! I was hoping to correct your spelling this time - but you self-corrected. Oh well.

Loved your description - those poor guides. And you lucky thing getting to see the Speaker's Body Shop.

My brothers both went to Queens - Engineering.

Take care -