What I learnt in London..

For the past two weeks, I have been living in London. A few months ago I applied for work experience on the Books desk at The Guardian, and I was lucky enough to get it! Aside from the fabulous experience and knowledge I gained from the jolly journalists at work, these two weeks have allowed me to grasp exactly what is required for one to survive in London – something I will need when I move there next year from the bumbling streets of Bristol…

It is imperative to adapt to any difficult situations that may arise with regard to plumbing. I was staying at my best friend’s house in Newcross (lovely), when the wall behind the shower was discovered to be rotting away. What an awful predicament! While the others were able to visit their university to shower, I did not arrive back from work in time to use these facilities. In a flourish of desperate creativity, I constructed a Victorian-style bathing area in the bathroom. Every evening I enjoy a nice ‘shower’, in which I sit lopsided in the avocado bathtub with a jug of water, whilst feeling around mysteriously for the shampoo because, oh yes! The light doesn’t work. It’s a truly majestic way of getting back in touch with one’s olde worlde roots.


I also really miss cooking. I obviously have full access to Hattie’s kitchen, but I don’t have my own utensils or baking trays or pretty bowls, and this is really hard to cope with. It does NOT help that the Great British Bake Off final was on during my stay, so all I wanted to do was make pork pies and wedding cakes for nobody in particular. I even tweeted Paul Hollywood out of desperation. No reply. On a side note, well done Frances you babe! I was rooting for Ruby, but Frances defo deserved her win.

Update: Just met Ruby in our morning news conference. She is brillo.


BXNDs_kIcAAKQ-R.jpg-largeImage source: @badmachinery

My time here, however, has been absolutely wonderful. It’s my last day tomorrow and I’m thoroughly depressed. I will be leaving with mountains of free books, a few bylines on the website, exciting new contacts, and a much higher percentage of caffeine in my veins. I attended news conferences and book awards, sat in on podcasts and wrote quizzes on elephants in literature. I am extremely determined to succeed in the industry and even better, I have a fresh batch of motivation to write my own fiction! It’s hard not to feel motivated when you’re surrounded by journalists and authors… They are all clever and intimidating, but very friendly. Most importantly, the food is cheap and delicious.

Thanks to The Guardian for a superb time! I am determined to return…


One thought on “What I learnt in London..

  1. Congrats! What a fantastic experience…now you need to keep building on all these terrific new contacts. I’ve been a journo for 30 years (and author); it’s the relationships you find, nurture and grow that will ensure success in your field.

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