Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Matter of Timing

It seemed like a good time for it. The five offspring are old enough to look after themselves (even if they still live at home). I have some money inherited from my grandmother. I am getting organised enough at work that I feel I can leave instructions to carry on without me, if I am away for several weeks. I have done enough research on the history of my various families that I know all the right places to visit ("do your research before you go" is a standard piece of advice). Obviously sometime around next (northern hemisphere) summer would be a perfect time to visit England and Scotland.

That is, until we were looking at the front page of the newspaper the other day, contemplating the events unfolding. "Do you still want to visit Britain next year?" P asked. "Yes" I answered very firmly.

But I really, really hope that the security restrictions ease off. Because the idea of a 24 hour flight without hand luggage is not an attractive one. I mean, not even a book for the flight? Nothing to do but watch crappy inflight movies and listen to screaming children, because parents can't take anything on board to entertain them? Well, what's 24 hours of hell compared to several weeks seeing the places I've always wanted to see.

I have been exploring websites to get a better idea of which places are "must see". The two main sites are Visit Britain and Ancestral Scotland. I have a beef, though. On the ancestral scotland site you can request brochures for the various areas. But what a crazy set up! You click on, say, "Stirling and the Trossachs" , find a button for "request brochure" and fill out the form. Then back to the button for "Dundee and Angus", click on the "request brochure" button and fill out the form all over again. And so on and so on...why couldn't they just have one form with check boxes for all the brochures you want? I am probably going to get about ten different envelopes in the mail one day soon.

Maybe they will all come on different days, it will make going to the mailbox much more fun.

If anyone has suggestions of interesting places to visit (or other useful websites), please leave a comment.

9 comments:

paris parfait said...

I'm glad you're not going to let security issues deter you from taking your dream trip. It is hoped by now at least reading material will be allowed! I can't imagine it either, long flight w/o something to read and no toys to entertain the children.

Leah said...

hello, michele sent me.

i dont have any suggestions right now. Do have a great ime and enjoy....

Carmi said...

I suspect this latest terrorist threat and the tightened restrictions in its wake will lead to a resurgence in oceangoing ships.

Imagine the journey being just as magical as the destination.

It could happen...

Catherine said...

Carmi, when my grandparents went on their trip "Home" in 1955 they went by ship. Back then, they could afford to be away for a year. We can't afford that now, sadly. But surely, ships would be open to terrorism as much as planes? It might be the oil crisis that leads us back to ships. I imagine technologically superior sailing ships, windpowered but way faster than the sailing ships of the 1800s.

Madeleine said...

oh i have so many places i could recommend if you visit England, one being Glastonbury to visit the Abbey where King Arthur is supposedly buried.
stonehenge is another.
honestly, if you need any advice on where to go just ask.
oh and the south coast of Dorset(where i live) and devon and cornwall are beautiful.

ooh, how exciting.

TamWill said...

Good Luck on your endeavor! Here via Michele's

Deb R said...

I hope that even if a lot of the new regs stay in place (which it sounds like they will), that things will ease up enough to allow things like books, magazines, coloring books for children, that sort of thing. I've always wanted to visit Europe and several other places, but literally cannot imagine being on a flight for that long without being allowed to read a book.

verniciousknids said...

As inflight entertainment is usually pretty horrid...I'm hoping books will be allowed back soon. The thing I'll really miss is my own water and my neck pillow!

Michele sent me.

chiefbiscuit said...

I am so envious - we loved the UK and Scotland when we visited in the 70s. We plan on going back for a visit - taking in Ireland as well. But not for a few years yet. Good luck with your planning - I will be following with interest.