By Francesca Fenn
Last Friday we ladies who step, and our better halves, enjoyed a fab quiz on a boat, organised by Londonist. The pleasure of seeing London from the River was enhanced by the questions which were relevant to the places we were passing, and by the pause in the questions so that we could all go up on deck and admire the Thames Barrier close to as we went past it. The barrier has a slightlly special place in the life of myself and Malcolm because his undergrad dissertation was about it (then under construction - so long ago) and I proved my true love for him by knocking door to door at rather rough estates interviewing people about their perception of the barrier. Almost every day for a month we took a bus there after work and toiled round disturbing people who didn't want to be disturbed. True love indeed!
This week we've also been busy chopping our books about. One is having a few minor alterations and amendments for a reprint, but our first guide, The London Treasure Trail, is having a big, grown-up second edition prepared. As we work through it, we realise how much we have learned in the course of publishing six guides. Things that we struggled with and agonised over in the first book seem so straightforward now. The main change is to make parts of the book more spacious, as for some inexplicable reason we deemed it sensible to have two blank pages for 'notes' at the back. As I say, we've learned lessons!
I've also been out rewalking/bussing the route, to ensure that everything we say is still accurate and true. I've found a statue has been moved, as has a bus stop, and one bus route has changed! So that was certainly time well spent!
Revising The London Treasure Trail has brought back to me the pleasure and excitement of creating the book in the first place, and the fun we had bringing Baby Tembo to life. We hope that these feelings are shared by the people who use the book - certainly from the feedback we receive thisseems to be so.
In fact, we receive quite a lot of feedback from people who have used our books, and we love reading it. Recently we received an email from a lady who had taken her niece out on our London Lion Hunt, and this is what she said:
My niece and her family were over from Belfast for a holiday. As soon as they started to cross Westminster Bridge Abbie who is 6 years old said "There is the lion we have to find!". She had a great day. Asked at the end of the holiday what was the best bit she said "Finding lions in London - that was even better than Legoland".
That's what we like to hear!, In fact, I'm going to write it again:
FINDING LIONS IN LONDON - THAT WAS EVEN BETTER THAN LEGOLAND!
And it's very much cheaper, too!