Walking by Old Father Thames, river traffic is not operating but visitors are still attracted to London's famous riverside walks. The capital is in its third Lockdown but the resident population and a handful of of tourists and visitors still flock to the landmarks they love in one of the most exciting cities in the world. The difference now in Lockdown is that instead of people huddling inside pubs and restaurants and looking out, only Takeaway is permitted. Sitting outside, it is easier than ever to interact with nature and take a few peaceful moments to breathe in fresh air.
Children play on small strips of sand unearthed by the receding tidal river and dogs race on the pebble beaches.
Cyclists, skateboarders, roller skaters, and the rolling wheels of pushchairs, provide a constantly changing vistas of free wheeling individuals. Fresh air, the flowing waters of the River Thames with a glorious backdrop of sights of London Town old and new, St. Paul's Cathedral alongside stately smoked glass skyscrapers.
The chatter and good natured laughter of friends and family is vibrant and cheerful, not dampened by the mechanical sounds of the engines of motor boats, launches, ferries and barges.
Collectively exhaling a unified sigh of relief, the atmosphere is peaceful and calm- and hopeful. Lockdown has delivered a new normal of unhurried, feel good gratitude - give thanks simply to be alive.
Today I p[assed by the Abbey Road zebra crossing in St.John's Wood and for the first time in 50 years there were no fans. Before Lockdown, day and night their would be people posing on the iconic zebra crossing and taking photos and selfies to share with family and friends all over the world. The iconic album cover from 1969 drew the crowds and any time day or night the small the zebra and forecourt of Abbey Road studios would be crowded with international visitors, students and and music lovers. They congregated to be with like-minded individuals and share their love of the Beatles music.
Paul McCartney actually lives nearby the still operational Abbey Road studios and he tells the story that on his way home from late night events - when the crowds of fans are fewer- but still there - he would lean out of the car and give them the thumbs up. He claims that on occasion he would stop the car and pose on the zebra crossing and chat with fans as they took selfies. Today London is in Lockdown - for the first in 50 years, the zebra crossing is deserted - I grabbed the opportunity to take my own photo on the hallowed spot - though I've lived in the area for decades. Sadly McCartney did not happen by, I'd have loved to share a duet - maybe 'All You Need is Love'. Or perhaps "Yesterday' - when all our troubles were so far away. I long for the day when I pass Abbey Road studios and the fans have returned - it may not be life changing but it will be a happy sign that we have entered a new normal and come to the end of A Long and Winding Road.
New York City Book Awards 2021 - Romance winner - Ellen Frazer-Jameson An Invitation to the Captain's Table
Always great to receive a communication saying
'Congratulations, you are a winner.'
In this case I received notification from the team at
NEW YORK CITY BOOK AWARDS that my latest book,
An Invitation to the Captain's Table
has been chosen for a top spot in the Romance category in this year's competition.
Sadly, no red carpet or gala presentation because of covid - but I am immensely proud that my novel found favour with the judging panel and in a poll of readers.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - If I can make it there........
Thank you to the hardworking and enthusiastic team at
NEW YORK CITY BOOK AWARDS
and well done to my fellow authors and awards winners - we all know - writing a book and getting recognition for the creative endeavour, is a tough job. To receive an award, offers inspiration and encouragement to keep on writing. Never lose the dream.
Ellen Frazer-Jameson is a journalist, author, actress. theater producer and drama coach. She co hosted the largest live late night radio show in Europe for the BBC and has appeared on national TV shows and taken leading roles on stage. She lives in Miami and London and loves to dance Argentine tango.