Guest Post, Somewhere Only I Know…

 Erin Lawless 

Today the lovely Erin Lawless has stopped by to share with us some places that are very special to her

Erin Lawless lives a happy life full of wonderful friends, in love with a man who buys her books instead of flowers. To mix things up a little, she writes books where friends and lovers hit obstacles and (usually) overcome them. When she’s not doing that she reads absolutely everything she gets her hands on, spends an inordinate amount of time in pyjamas and runs a fun-but-informative blog on British history.


There was a particular spot in the library, when I was at university, where the afternoon light came in just so and made you feel warm, even in the middle of winter. I got a bit Sheldon about “my spot” and used to proper glare out any Freshers I found sat there.

There is a bench made out of a felled tree in the woodland around Virginia Waters where the guy I’d been on-off with and hopelessly in love with for over a year scratched our names inside a love heart. He’s now my husband and we have a picture of the log in a frame on our wall.

There is a small garden in Pimlico that used to belong to a block of flats that had long-since been knocked down. The garden remained, sheltered by a little wooden lattice and creeping ivy and hardly anybody knew it was even there. The summers that I worked nearby, I would head straight there at lunchtime, sit with my bare legs and feet against the cool grass and eat sushi and read in peace.

There was an old, shabby-but-comfortable sofa in the rented flat where my best friend used to live. I can’t count the number of takeaways and bottles of wine I’ve seen off on it, the times I’ve fallen asleep on it. I like to think that other sets of best friends still enjoy it to this day.

There is a lock on the canal that runs through the town I grew up in, and when I was a teenager my friends and I used to slip away from school to go down there, eat our lunch by the water, share all the gossip and talk about what life would be when we grew up.

There is a family owned café, not far from Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where I once worked. It was always really quiet – surprisingly so for central London – because everyone else went to Starbucks, Pret, Eat… I sat there with my notebook every lunchtime for a year, and jotted down what became The Best Thing I Never Had over perfectly-cooked jacket potatoes.

There is a gay bar in Soho where my best friend and I would go on the first Thursday of every month to see a comedy variety show. The acts were pretty repetitive, the wine was always a bit too warm and we’d always end up in McDonalds straight afterwards and totally regret it, but we hardly ever missed a month for four years.

There is a small pond in the woodland that rings my university campus, so greened-over with algae that you would barely know it was there until you were upon it. My friends and I buried our shared goldfish there when he finally went to that big fishbowl in the sky. Five years later my boyfriend got on one knee on its bridge to ask me to marry him.

There is a pub in Battersea where my friends and I would go every Monday night to enter the weekly quiz, which we’d win more often than not. We’d drink the rose Prosecco which formed part of the prize and stuff ourselves with way too many barsnacks and always feel vaguely ill on Tuesday mornings.

There’s an armchair in my study that has definitely seen better days. Its padding is escaping at the arms and its fabric is bleached from years sat in the sunlight where it comes through the window. It came with one of the furnished flats I rented years ago, and it was love at first sight. I’d curl up in it and read for hours. When we moved on, our landlady gifted it to us, knowing how much I loved it. It was the first piece of furniture we really owned. I curl up and read for hours on it still.

A big thank you to Erin for such a wonderful guest post!

Boy meets girl…

Alex Bradley can’t help but feel that life is rather passing him by. And not just life – promotions, invitations, romance; the girl he loves only has eyes for his flatmate and his 9-5 job as the Immigration department skivvy is slowly numbing his soul. Until he meets Nadia.

Girl meets boy…

Nadia Osipova is running out of time. With no money, no lawyer and a totally fictitious boyfriend, she’s got one last summer and one last appeal before the British government deport her back home.

Girl gets deported?

It’s going to be a bumpy ride, one she’s dragging her new friend Alex along for. As Nadia races through a list of all her favourite London adventures, for what may be the last time, Alex can’t help but start to see the city, and his life, through Nadia’s eyes.

From hazy summer days on the Common and heady nights in Soho’s basement bars, to twilight walks along the Southbank, will Alex realise what he’s got before it’s too late?

 Somewhere Only We Know 


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