Monday, January 29, 2007

Ok, so I switched

Reluctantly, might I add. I was GIVEN NO OPTION. I will throw myself on the floor and have a right royal tantrum if I have lost anything. Then I will squeeze into the computer cable and emerge at blogger and do some head bashing. You may be able to tell that I do NOT like having no options.

I was sitting here staring at the screen, wondering what on earth I could write about tonight. Is anyone out there in the same boat as me? The moment I was nominated in a category as daunting as "most inspiring", I lost all inspiration. As in I could not string 2 words together. So you get the rant about having to switch instead. Inspiration it is not. But I did change the font colour. To indicate rage. Of course.

Coffee has calmed me down. I am rational again. I had a visit from a friend this evening, who has invited me to a 60th birthday party. In the Dordogne, France. In June. For a weekend. Now I know some of you (hello Barb) really struggle hearing about places you dream of visiting one day, which happen to be close by and accessible for us in Europe. We are lucky, if you forget the global warming issue, to be able to fly round Europe very cheaply, and so popping over to Bordeaux for the weekend, is possible. In fact, I have flown return to Switzerland for half the price of a train ticket to London, which is 45 mins away by rail. If you consider coming to Europe, check out the budget airlines like Easyjet and Ryanair, and BMIbaby for European travel.

After Barb's comment, I was thinking what fun it would be to show you all around Britain. And how much I want to come to the States one day to see everything I have read about. Part of my History degree course focussed on American history, and I especially loved the frontier history. I want to see strange places. Not the touristy ones, necessarily. Of course I want to stand in New York and feel the energy that everyone talks about. And to go to the Smithsonian in Washington. And I want to wander round the Northeast visiting small towns and exploring fabric and antique shops. But I also want to go to Alaska, and to Montana, and to see the Rocky Mountains, and to see Mt St Helens. I want to visit churches I have read about, and meet people. Sigh. One day.

I have been so lucky to have been able to see so much of Europe. As a child, my parents brought our family on holiday for 3 months, and we went everywhere. It is such a weird fact that if you live somewhere, you seldom see the country, but as tourists you see it all in a short space of time. I have seen far more of Britain than most of my British friends, and my father planned our "grand tour" meticulously. Holland was perfectly timed to see the tulips in bloom. Vienna was timed so we could go to see the Vienna Boys Choir, and the Spanish Riding school. London meant the State opening of parliament. Paris was La Traviata at the opera house. And it is amazing how clear all those memories are.

Since we moved back here, I have been to France and Switzerland mainly. And Scotland, of course. But we also visited Holland, Germany and Belgium when we travelled with Geoff on the ship. Now I have friends with homes all over the place. One has recently bought an apartment in Bulgaria, and one day I would love to see the former Eastern Bloc countries. As a child I never thought that would be possible. I would love to see the Aurora Borealis. I have not been to Scandinavia, except for Denmark. I have seen Austria, Italy , Gibraltar and Spain though. This is not meant to make you wail, Barb. There are so many places I still want to see! But top of the list right now is New Zealand. I want to go and see where my daughter lives. I wish I had the time and wherewithall to rotate around the globe. Australia is waiting too. And Prague. I have always wanted to go there. While the Music festival is on, of course.

My friends Tess and Russ are about to go off on an adventure round Europe. They intend spending a year travelling all over the place. In a strange way, after Geoff died so unexpectedly, so many people re-evaluated their lives, and did things like rewrite wills, check on insurance etc, but so many also decided not to put off the things they would love to do one day. They are making conscious plans to do those things now. I applaud this wholeheartedly. One day is right now. It is the only certainty there is. The irony is that, as the months go by, it becomes so easy to slip back into that lethargy, where we put things off once again. It is so easy to find endless reasons why we can't do things. Dreams are good, and if I really try, some will become reality too.


Morning Glory said...

I love to travel SO much and have been fortunate to do a reasonable amount of it. My favorite place still remains England. I'm ready to go again. My next favorite of the places I've been would be Italy. We had such a magical trip there a couple years ago. But I'm always drawn back to England. There are so many different faces to it. I'd be thrilled to see pictures from your travels.

And yes, writer's block set in once I was nominated for that award, too. I just sort of sit here and stare. I'm sorry about your dilemma, too -- I'm afraid it's my fault. I nominated you in the inspirational category because you inspire me.

thebluefish said...

Something I'm really glad of is that my parents took us on a lot of UK holidays when we were younger and so I've seen good amounts of Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall... exploring is fun.

Not travelled enough beyond the UK though I guess I've made it to Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, Poland and Bulgaria which is a deent start.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Linds--Think about adding Chicago to your list too--and visiting us!

Someday, we want to take our children on the grand tour in Europe...We both went during college. My husband saw a lot more than me, but I was in Amsterdam for 10 days, (working at Amsterdam '86), all over Germany with a German rail pass, in Salzburg, Austria, a ways into Switzerland, and in Strasbourg, France, for about an hour--this was all back in '86. I'd love to go back. My husband's two favorite places were Norway--he's Norwegian--and London.
He kept telling me how much I would love London--gotta get there someday!

Barb said...

Too late, Linds. I'm wailing! You speak of all the wonderful places exactly the way we in the states speak of traveling from one state to another and really, I think it's probably about the same. But "France" and "Scotland" sound so exotic to me.

Someday....maybe! :-)