Chez WW in England

Chez WW in England

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Archive for August 2010

The perfect travel book

22 August 2010

A travel book is an all important part of any journey. It can discourage conversations from icky fellow travellers; you know the one who is too touchy feely, has bad breath and stares at your chest. While I was single I never had the experience of seating next to a cute, smart and funny guy. Now that I am marries I will be travelling with my own version of this guy. It can encourage conversations with fellow travellers. I have had this experience and it lead to a great flight and conversations about much more than the book that started it all. It can relieve boredom and keep one's sanity during unexpected delays.

The perfect travel book for me must be engrossing enough to allow me to block out the world around me and get lost. I have no problem getting wrapped up in most books I read but Great Expectations may not be the travel book for me. I need light but not too light in terms of subject. I like a huge travel book, one that will last through any delays and can serve as a weapon if I need to protect my belongings from a would-be thief.

There are a few books sitting on my shelf that may just be perfect. My choices are:

Under the Dome – Stephen King
The Girl Who Played With Fire -  Stieg Larsson
Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett

One final consideration for a travel book is size. Do you want one to slip easily into a pocket or purse? Will you mind holding that huge 1000+ tome in your arms as you wait and wait some more in airport lines? This may just be the perfect situation for an e-reader. Hint, hint. The choices above are listed according to my preference. What is your perfect travel book? What are you planning to take on your next journey? Input is welcome.

Pack light, travel much

11 August 2010

I have a problem. It is nothing new. I have always suffered from the “I will pack it just in case” syndrome. I wish that I could change this. I am just a girl who likes to be prepared. My vacation to PEI shows just how big this problem is. At the present I am half way done of my wonderful vacation. The numbers may change but only a little.

Shoes packed: 7  Shoes worn: 3
Swimsuits packed: 6  Swimsuits worn: 1
Books packed: 4  Books read: 1/2

You understand the problem now. I never saw it as much of a problem before. OK, that is not true. I always wanted to be one of those ladies at the airport with the small suitcase and just one other bag who can navigate their way around and look great doing it. Me, not so much. I look like a Sherpia gone wrong. Huge purse, camera bag, two huge suitcases that are always tagged with HEAVY. The going to and from the destinations were the really only difficult parts. OK, that is not true either. Packing so much stuff means I have to leave with a room that looks like a bomb went off. I just assumed that I do not live well out of a suitcase. Maybe I just pack way too much stuff.

I wish that I had used this trip as an experiment in packing light. Too late now. I have just four months to become one of those ladies at the airport that I so want to be. I intend to travel much and refuse to look like a gypsy caravan or have a disorganized hotel room. And well I have to be practical. Here in Canada I can travel with an extended mini van. That is not going to happen when we are in England. I will have to trade in my duffle bag that can hold me, a few friends and the poodle for a small and sleek bag that will allow me to zip through the crowds in London, Paris and Rome. I can always ship home all those shoes and hats I see in my future….right?

Cake travels well...

08 August 2010

Having book club the night before a trip can be dangerous. I came home to find my husband in a flurry of baking two huge slab cakes. “What are you doing? We are going away tomorrow.” “Cake travels well.” I have a wonderful husband so I smiled and nodded. The next morning we set out with our two slab cakes that travel well. Cakes DOES NOT travel well. By the time we hit the rush hour traffic in Montreal the cake had turned into crumbs. I now know why cupcakes were invented. Cupcakes travel well, cakes do not travel well.

Just 30

01 August 2010

If you know me, you know that I have a lot of books. Books are everywhere. They are my familiar friends that are a constant factor in our vagabond life.

Realizing that space will be limited and that I tend to acquire books at a fairly constant rate, we decided to limit the books we take on our European adventure. Reference books and my photography books will not be part of this limit. That means just 30 books between the two of us. This may seem like a lot to most people. For me, picking just 30 books is harder than deciding which three pairs of shoes to take on a weekend away. I have to down-size from four big bookcases to one small one. This is not counting the numerous totes that contain the over-flow.

It just seems wrong to be roaming around Yorkshire and not to be readng Thomas Hardy. A visit to Bath requires Jane Austen. Time in London calls for Charles Dickens and Sherlock Holmes. I have all of these classics and more. If I leave them behind, will I feel like something is missing from my experience overseas? I can bring all of my classics, maybe read them, maybe not or leave them behind and buy classics as the need arises. I am going with the second choice. That means just 30 books will be moving to England with us. This will be a challenge like no other.

But, I have a plan. I am removing all the books to the basement that will be remaining in Canada. For the next few months I will live with only the books I plan to take to England. If I can do it for four months then I can do it for our European adventure.

I know that I will be living just an hour and a half away from Hay-on-Wye, a tiny village with 30 bookstores. Yes, that is right. I know that I will not suffer from lack of books. It is just hard to choose which friends to take and which to leave behind.