My Trip to England
Well, as you may have gathered, I am back from my book tour in England, and am finally able to breathe through my nose again (I caught a wicked cold while I was there). Also, my voice came back (I have nodules on my vocal chords from when I did musical theater as a teen, and ruined my voice due to improper vocal technique. I went to an Ears, Nose, and Throat surgeon to get the nodes removed in the 1980s, and he said, “This is a very risky procedure: I can remove them, but there is a possibility of permanent loss of vocal ability.”
So I chose not to have the surgery.
Apparently Julie Andrews' surgeon did NOT give her this speech when she sought medical care for the exact same thing, which is why she went ahead with the surgery, and it ruined her voice for good!
As for me, now I just lose my voice every time I get a cold or talk too much. Which is why I knew from the age of 16 that I would never have a career as an actress, singer, radio DJ, teacher, stand up comedian, or talkshow host, even though people offer me jobs doing all of those things all the time. Well, okay, not really. But a girl can dream).
Anyway, I thought I'd show you all some photos from my trip. Sadly, there are none of any sheep, so don't get your hopes up. We were always whizzing past them too fast to stop.
So here goes:
Here I am with Jemma Kidd at Harrods. Jemma did makeovers on prizewinners at Princess Day, while I signed books! The prizewinners all wrote essays, on which they worked VERY hard. Congratulations to the prizewinners, whose photos I can't show due to the fact that they are minors (as in, children. Not people who work in mines).
There were all these photographers there, and they took approximately a hundred million photos.
Seriously. Like a hundred million.
I call this one, DON'T GIVE AWAY THE ENDING!
They took a LOT of pictures.
But it was cool, because I got to meet Lisa Clark (photo above), the hostess of Pink World, who interviewed me for her website. Read the interview here: http://www.pink-world.co.uk/readorama_meg.html
After the signing, we all had a big Princess Tea, and I gave a talk. I hope people weren't too bored during the talk. You can see from the photo that I was trying really hard to be inspiring, although really I was thinking about Tab, which they don't have in England.
But even if people WERE bored, it was OK, because afterwards, there was cake as a reward:
The next day, we hopped into the car to go to Ilkley for the book festival. Here is where I was shocked to find my books in a British gas station (I have never seen them in a US gas station. Having your book in a gas station is BIG TIME):
Before the signing in Ilkley, we stopped for tea at a real English tea shop:
It was so like a scene out of Cold Comfort Farm. I LOVED it.
For those who didn't believe me about the cake cart, here is the photographic proof:
I was super excited by how supportive the bookshops we went to were. This one had letters posted on the wall from tons of readers:
By the way, if you have ever wondered what it's like to be on a book tour, here is a good example:
It was a very sweet village but of course we couldn't stop because we were late to our next signing, so I could only look at it out the car window.
In another bookshop, I had a Book of the Month:
Book signings are a lot of hard work, but afterwards, there are certain consolations:
(The guy in this photo gave me his email address so I could e him a copy of the picture. But after I saw how the picture turned out, I didn't have the heart).
That cheese cart was at Gordon Ramsay's, a famous UK restaurant. It was SO good. Of course it was mushroom season while I was in England, so everywhere I went, they were having mushroom specials—mushroom soup, mushroom ravioli, mushroom pie, mushroom tarts, mushroom mousse, etc. There was a cheese stuffed with mushrooms on that cart. I even saw mushrooms growing out of the ground everywhere. But I don't think they were the kind it's OK to eat.
I am a little sick of mushrooms now, but at the time, they were quite tasty.
Well, so now I'm back, and I've got to start working on Princess Diaries 7, because it's actually due soon.
But it's very hard because I thought I would come home and the renovations on my house would be finished, a la the show While You Were Out, or my favorite, Debbie Travis, from HGTV.
But alas, this is not the case. They are STILL working on our kitchen, although they are very close to being done. No progress whatsoever has been made on my bathroom, however. Henrietta has gotten so used to workmen, she doesn't even bother hiding under the bed when they come stomping into the room anymore. I know, when I go down for breakfast in the morning, that I am going to be treated to a chorus of Good Mornings from men I have never seen before in my life.
That is the Home Renovation Lifestyle. I can't listen to my iPod (hello, Von Bondies, how do I love them? Let me count the ways) because I have to be alert for tile deliverers pounding on the door.
I tell you, if this house is ever finished, it will be a miracle.
Ditto Princess Diaries 7. At least if I don't get back to it soon.
So, in closing, in answer to the #1 most asked question I received about my trip to England: I can't tell you who was having sex in the room next to mine in the hotel in Cheltenham. Because princesses don't gossip (well, OK, because I'm afraid he'll see it and kick my you-know-what).
But I can tell you it's not that exciting, he's married and was there with his wife. Yawn.
But it's good to know you can still have that kind of spice in your relationship that many years down the line.
Well, that's it for now. Official thanks to Mom for filling in for me earlier this week! And don't forget to VOTE!!!