Life in General

A Frenchie in London Week 1

I was going for a much more original name for this post but then I decided it was awesome enough without the need of a sparkling title xD

I couldn’t dream of a better work space! Hello London flowers!

The word ‘internship’ is frown upon. I know, I have been there.
Like millions of people, I had to endure the cliché of being used as a slave to someone too stingy to hire people or faced the long hours of doing nothing and therefore, learning nothing.

So why a post about my experience as an intern in publishing?

First of all, selfishly, I want to keep track of what happens and how it affects me. After a year sitting in class listening to all the theory of my dream job, I can finally experience and compare what has been said and what I actually do. I don’t want to forget the victories and the differences.

Then, I thought ‘Hey, Chocolate’n’Waffles is a book blog, and you are working for a publisher! Your ramblings might interest someone!!!’ I am not going to reveal all the deeds and details of what happens behind the scenes but I thought a nice weekly wrap-up could be a fun way to share what turns out to be the best job ever and a very interesting time abroad! Also, nice pictures of London and ramblings about my time in the city can’t hurt…!

London, you hugged me back seven days ago. Friday 8th June 2018. Since then, it’s been a roller-coaster!

A 5 a.m. alarm clock does that to you!

A bit tired because of the 5a.m. alarm clock sound who … did not much as I wasn’t sleeping when it rang, I had a nice day relaxing and taking in the fact I was back in the city which had made me live the dream.

The problem with packing for six weeks is that you take all you think you might need and end up with 21 kilos! I can’t thank enough the nice gentlemen who helped me all the way. Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t have happened in Paris!!!

I had the chance to fangirl the very day I arrived because I got to meet Antti Tuomainen, or one of the funniest guy I have ever met. And sweet with it! I think I might still be fangirling! But the thing … I am supposed to stay professional, haha!

Day two: one of the best encounters of the year! I was putting my makeup on when Lilja Sigurdardottir walked out of her room and we finally met! In addition to being talented and beautiful, Lilja is one of the most inspiring and lovely women I have met. Our time together was short but boy was it good! (and she saved my life!) Again super professionnal! But that’s why I like it so much here. I can be all business when needed, but those authors were just… people! And meeting them was brilliant and I have no idea how to convey the fact it is a privilege to get to know them personally!

I was lucky enough to also be reunited with the French Queen of Noir, Johana Gustawsson! Frenchies in the place! It was fantastic to be able to accompany those brilliant and different personalities to the Balham Literary Festival and see Mama Orenda moderate her authors in the best way possible so that the floor could connect with the guests. Jokes were made, shocking mushroom revelations to (see The Man Who Died!) and weird Icelandic food was eaten!
All in all, my first official literary event and my first job as an intern was brilliant.

I have some pictures to let you see how it went! It was a PURE DELIGHT! Unfortunately, WordPress won’t let me put the videos in the post… FRUSTRATION! Just know that everyone laughed, and the place was full!

Of course, all is not well in the world and we all get stones in the shoes! Having prepared a medical prescription for my anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication, I was quite happy to visit a pharmacy for the first time in the UK. Well. To sum it up, it was denied, I got angry, I tried again, I was denied, I ugly cried in the street, I panicked, I tried again, more tears came. THEN I WON. Never ever again will you hear me complain about the French medical system. What is wrong with those pharmacists??? Would say they to someone with diabetes ‘Sorry, I’m not allowed to give you the medication you obviously need as you are ruining my tissues, please stop sniffing, because even if the prescription is legit we have a right to refuse it as it is French.’??? Mental illnesses are like all other diseases and I wish I had been taken more seriously (and not sent to an NHS clinic at 7pm by Boots when they KNEW there was no doctor, only nurses, so I wouldn’t get my meds!)

This little … bump in the road didn’t hamper my work too much. I am lucky to have a wonderful and understanding boss who has been an amazing support.

Back to work! Can reading final proofs be considered working? :p Seriously? I love every minute of this exercise. For my very first reading job, I read Do No Harm (printing as we speak!) and it just blew my mind. I managed to get immersed in the story despite also focusing on typos, little mistakes or whatever (I love this part! And it warmed my heart to be trusted with it as English is not my native language and I feel like an imposter at times!) Research, paperwork, social media… Give it all to me and I’m a happy fairy!

I need to change this phone, the pictures are blurry!! Did you really thought I was gonna upload photos of me crying???

Said fairy also got the chance to attend the private launch of Martyn Waites’s book The Old Religion, where introductions were made and I got to meet my fourth Orenda Books author, the lovely Susi Holliday (The Lingering is coming!). We got CAKE and I got the first edition of the book… and failed to have it signed! Silly me!

Everything is happening so fast I am not even sure I know that I am in London. I take the train, the bus (get lost), the tube, I search for a Waitrose, I get pizza, I failed at pronouncing stuff, then get complimented for my accent (highlight of the day!) and it feels like I’ve always been here.

Oh and… FOOD!

Last but not least … Harrogate! One conversation and it was on! I have my boss to thank again for helping me making another dream come true.
Can you run out of dream to fulfil???

I am having the weekend off which means I’ll suit up as the perfect tourist, then write reviews, and watch Buffy! I have decided to avoid reading too much because my poor eyes are not liking all the activies!!! Plus, I need to keep that American accent while surrounded by true English ones!

Reviews to come next week! Have a great weekend, everyone!

49 thoughts on “A Frenchie in London Week 1”

  1. Well only 1 week in and so much to tell! And I’m quite sure there was lots more that you didn’t write here. What a great way to remember this amazing opportunity. I’m already looking forward to your next instalment!
    I wonder if you will pick up any English colloquial or accents? 😉
    Have fun Meggy.
    Amanda xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I had to pick and choose! I didn’t wait the post to be too long, but I treasure lots of memories already, like my name on the out of office message from my boss. Silly but means a lot to me!
      I say that I’m going to the loo xD And sometimes my American ‘r’ sound disappears, but other than that, I’m okay! Struggling to pronounce publishing houses’ names at times, haha! xxxx


  2. It is so wonderful to hear about your internship and how your time in London is going. It sounds like you’re having an amazing time. I’m sorry about the problems with getting your meds though, I know that must have been a huge stress that you didn’t need but I’m glad it got sorted. I am in awe of all that you’re doing and achieving – you’re amazing and fabulous and London is lucky to have you! I can’t wait to hear more about your adventures! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you for reading this little rambling 🙂 Writing about it makes it feel more real as I feel I am dreaming!! I have my main med, which is a relief, but the meds my mom sent from France haven’t been delivered yet so the problem is ongoing, but I am confident I’ll manage 🙂 You are too sweet with me! I just struggle and live every day to avoid regrets ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope your meds have arrived by now, or arrive very soon if not. It’s so stressful when away from home that regular meds can get delayed or messed up. You are amazing how you keep going and keep trying. I know how hard it is so I really do admire you. xx


        1. Yes, I have all my meds and registered with the NHS just in case… It’s a relief to have overcome this situation! You’re the inspiring one, lovely! It sounds very cliché but I have no idea how I do it. I live one day at a time and do my best, it’s all I can do 🙂 xxxx

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Bless you, Meggy, sounds like you are having an amazing time – and I am so sorry I didn’t get a chance to see you in person. But we have to meet during your time here, even if it’s just for a quick coffee in London! Bon courage, lots of fun and look forward to hearing what you are up to next!


  4. I am so sorry you have had the hiccup with your prescription, I can imagine how anxious that must have made you having anxiety myself. I am glad you finally got it! I love hearing all about your internships and the authors you are getting to meet, super jealous!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow life as an intern sounds like a dreamjob! You only have to attend amazing author events and read books all day, what’s not to love haha. So amazing you got to meet so many authors. I’m dying to meet just one in my life :-). I also had no idea Lilja Sigurdardottir (yes I copy-pasted this) had (so many) tattoos! I hope you’ll enjoy your second week just as much. Keep us updated, it’s wonderful to see your adventures!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It REALLY is my dream job! I’ve been doing so many different things and learning every day! Haha, events and reading are accompanied by lots of laptop work! But it’s all so interesting that I love getting up to work each morning!! I’d love for you to come to one of our events and meet those brilliant authors!!! Haha, yeah, it takes a while to get Lilja’s name, and I still have issues pronouncing her last name! She’s so inspiring and a beauty! I will definitely post more!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope that dream of meeting AN author will come true one day. I thought you were going to take me with you to Harrogate (a little pitstop in Belgium along the way with the Eurostar ;-))… you’ll just have to post lots of pics and tell us how it was!! So great if you can do a job that you love so much 🙂


  6. Sounds like your first week was absolutely fantastic! I hope the next weeks will treat you that well… And that your meds situation gets sorted soon. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love that I’m not the only one who gets excited about living it up in London! Glad you got the meds situation resolved, once the basics are sorted with the NHS, they’re actually not too bad.


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