From The Shores of Jolly Old England to The Pyramids of Egypt (Melissa Robbins)

If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be?  Would you write or read there, or do something else?

            I have traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland, Dublin, Ireland, and Moscow, Russia among my more exotic locations, but there wasn’t time to write.  Too busy visiting the sites, dancing in them, or building them.  Where would I like to go?  England.  Even though my story takes place in the beautiful country, I haven’t been there.  To describe my settings, I use photographs from travel books and online, movies, and Google Earth.  I think England has changed a wee bit since WW2, so reading diaries and books from that era helps.  Which is why I love reading books in general.  They transport us to worlds we may never get to see. 

            So when I go, I’ll write, but it will be for recording sounds and smells one can’t get from photographs and movies.  I want to visit the coastal town of Hastings that has a striking resemblance to the village in my story. 

            I will drag my husband to the RAF Museum in London to see Spitfires and Hurricanes and 11 Group Ops Room.  Sweet!  Let’s not forget the Imperial War Museum where they recreated the sights, sounds, and smells of a blitzed London street.  It’s one thing to read about another person’s participation.  It’s entirely different to experience it for yourself.  Although I have to admit I may have a sense of what it felt like with tornado sirens going off, waking up my kids and hurrying them to the basement.  I can only imagine as we wondered if the tornado will hit our house, if Englanders felt the same way as doodlebugs flew over their heads. 

           The RAF Tangmere museum is also on my list.  Tangmere was an aerodrome in Hellfire’s Corner that got a brunt of German bombs.  I wonder if they would let me ring the scramble bell.  “Don’t yell.  Ring the bell and run like h***!”  Probably not.  

            Of course, our trip to England will coincide with The Blitz Party.  What’s that you ask?  An insane party in London that usually occurs once a month with a required 40’s dress code (lots of chaps in uniform), live swing and jazz music, and loads of dancing. 

            Eventually, I want to send my characters to the Mediterranean since that’s where my grandfather fought in WW2.  Ever since my sixth grade teacher showed us pictures of her exploring Egyptian tombs and monuments, I have wanted to go too.  That's also when I started reading Agatha Christie books.  So much mystery and adventure to be found in North Africa. 
          Hmm, I think I need to renew my passport. 


Reese Mobley said...

I didn't realize you were so well traveled. No wonder you have such a passion for writing about other countries. You can truly write it from the heart. Color me green with envy!

Melissa Robbins said...

Thanks, Reese! That's very sweet of you to say that.

Rox Delaney said...

Ireland has long been on my list of places to see, so you can imagine my envy.

In grade school, I discovered Egypt and Cleopatra. Later, my dad got interested in King Tut, and I remember him reading everything he could get his hands on about it.

There are so many interesting places in this world. It would be wonderful to travel and see them all. :)

Joan Vincent said...

I've always loved Egypt--it's on my bucket list--if only my health and the world would cooperate!
I've a similar list of things to see and do in England all corresponding to my research of Regency times. How'd you discover the Blitz party? Sounds like great fun. Renewing my passport is supposed to be a list on my desk--thanks for the reminder.

Penny Rader said...

Ooh, lucky you, Melissa! I'd love to visit Ireland and Scotland.