Necessary preparation for our forthcoming trip is the reading of books and magazines, and the endless delightful conversations with people about things to do.
It is now over twenty years ....well thirty actually...since I was in Europe, and I don't really remember a thing...or the things I do remember are very partial. The Pompidou Pyramid, for example, the London Eye didn't even exist.
And perhaps I am a little more expansive as a person and aware of all sorts of things that I didn't realise I could be aware of when I was in my 20s. Although, par exemple, I saw lots of visiual art my definitive art experience had not yet happened...which happened at a Monet exhbition in Melbourne probably 15 -20 years ago.So I know that one of the things I wan to do is try and see a few more water lilies, whether we get to Giverny remains to be seen.
But S and I also talked about whether or we should walk Scafell Pike...it would be unusual for us to do such a thing, can I still do it? (I have done it a number of times in my teens ...but these days I ache).
Every time we think about England we think of another thing to do. Althorp, Blenheim, The Old Vic. I even told my cousin the other day that we probably weren't going to stay with him..I feel guilty and I have thought of a way that we possibly can.
But we can go no further north than Edinburgh, but I would desperately love to go to Iona and the Hebrides
Then there is "The Unofficial Guide to Paris", and excellent book which we stumbled across which will keep us amused; nibbling cheese and croissants, walking the Left bank, doing little side trips, hunting out those Monets.
The truth is that I want it all, and there is too little: time, money, energy.
Thank goodness I have temporaily lost the Rome book!