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.