Tag Archives: scotland

#ManCandyMonday A Tale of Two Ryans

I have to say I was on the fence about Ryan until I started watching Crazy, Stupid Love the other day. Wow. So sexy. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to finish watching the movie, so I’ll have to track it down.

This is a Vine with Ryan Gosling created by Ryan McHenry, a Scottish film director who unfortunately died of cancer just a short time ago. Ryan McHenry was known for his humor and upbeat personality. RIP.

This Vine is from the Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal Vine series.

The two Ryans had some laughs over the Vines and here is Ryan Gosling’s tribute to Ryan McHenry.

To see more Vines in the series, please visit Ryan McHenry’s Vine Channel.

Travel Tuesday – Buckingham Palace and Mews

Today’s Tuesday is some more photos from my trip to London. This time I’m taking you to Buckingham Palace and the Mews where the Royal horses, carriages and the like are stored.

First thing — the Queen’s Apartments in the Palace are only open in August and September when the Royal Family retires to Scotland for the summer months. During the winter you have to content yourself with views of the exterior, the changing of the guard and the museums at the Palace.

We watched the changing of the guard (some of the last slides you’ll see), but it was packed. We clearly had to get there a lot earlier than we did, but despite the crowd, we were able to see the nearly 45 minute long ceremony as the one group of guards is replaced. Mind you, it’s not just the guards, but their band and everything that is changed. So, there’s a lot of pomp with all the turnover.

We also had an opportunity to visit the Royal Mews and it was really interesting. We got to see some of the horses (huge huge animals) that pull the carriages as well as various carriages, limos, carts, etc. The most interesting one — a golden carriage made for Richard III. It was stunning and the artwork on the doors, etc. was amazing.

It was interesting to see all the different carriages as well as learn how some are postillion driven (riders are on the horses pulling the carriages) versus being driven by a driver on the wagon. A bit of trivia I know I’ll put to use in one of those historical flashbacks in a future novel!

Hope you enjoy these photos. If you can’t see the slideshow below, you can click on this link to visit my Facebook Page or copy and paste this link into your browser:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2060062&id=1130005412&l=7c6a9b55a9

Travel Tuesday – Tower of London

I hope you’ll enjoy today’s behind the scenes look into a writer’s brain!

As I mentioned, I needed to do some research and spark story ideas for the new book that I’ve been plotting in my brain, hence the cashing in the frequent flyer and hotel rewards for a trip to London.

The book is contemporary and revolves around some secret orders of knights, mystical relics and the need to save the world from demonic forces. But there are scenes set in ancient London and other interesting spots in both the United Kingdom and elsewhere, including New York City.

One of the places I could envision doing some flashback scenes was the Tower of London. It was a fascinating place to visit and some of the things we saw already inspired ideas – like the “Entry to the Traitor’s Gate” that can be seen from boats on the Thames (see below).

Traitor's Gate as seen from the Thames

View of the Gate from within the Tower of London
Traitor's Gate as seen from the Tower of London

I could so picture one of my heroes being rowed through the gate on the way to some punishment in order to get information from them. The guide on the boat trip we took mentioned that the last man to be rowed through the gates was William Wallace (of Braveheart fame).

While we were in the Tower there was an amazing exhibition of armor as well as the Crown Jewels. Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to snap pictures of the jewels. Bummer. I had hoped I could use one of them, or maybe one of the stones in them, as part of the collection of mystical relics in the story. I guess that will require additional thought on my part as well as more research.

I’ll be posting more Tower of London photos to my Facebook page shortly (something wonky is going on with uploading!). As soon as I have the link to those photos, I’ll post it here.