Medieval monastery at Iona
~ update wills and follow through with required witnesses, copies to kids, etc.
~ increase physical stamina and endurance: up the time on the elliptical machine
~ scope and sequence, make final itinerary decisions. We have 9 days in Scotland and 9 days in England.
~ finish making reservations
~ learn about money and currency exchanges
~ research travel passes for historical sites
~ learn how to take good pictures on camera
~ buy a laptop computer??
~ buy good walking shoes
~ read Fodor’s; watch Rick Steves; watch Globetrekker
~ finish Columba, read Susan Allen Toth’s second and third book (I finished My Love Affair with England this week),
~ in my dreams: read Bunyan, Stevenson, Milton, Burns, Johnson, Boswell, Buchan, and all the other classic British writers
I want to be content and thankful for all of the trip. I see two potential obstacles to contentment, although I’m sure there are dozens.
One is the romantic, idyllic picture I’ve allowed to build up in my mind about Great Britain. I remember a conversation with a friend who lived in Scotland for a year. I breathlessly asked, “What was it really like?” She thought a minute and said, “Smoky. Lots of air pollution.” [whistle of bomb exploding, dreams demolished] I am hoping for moments –not two solid weeks– of beauty, pleasure, nostalgia for the life I’ve read about.
Second potential obstacle is disappointment of not seeing [fill in the blank] or going [fill in the blank]. I’ve already (I think) crossed off the Highlands of Scotland. Limiting the scope is essential. One must be reasonable. A librarian I know did a 15-day trip through England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Ouch! I want to be content and thankful for whatever we get to see. No regrets allowed. Period.
I’ve thought about looking at the trip through a certain focus, one that is of interest to both Curt and me. I’m saving the “Literary Journey through England” to a future trip with my sister-in-law or … to my dreams. Susan Allen Toth and her husband visit English gardens. Another friend (not the smoky Scotland friend) went to Scotland strictly to watch birds. I asked about Edinburgh (from a panting interest on my part) and she shocked me by saying they never went to Edinburgh. (I had to take a few cleansing breaths.)
I’m considering a focus of cathedrals or ancient monasteries. Iona has captured my imagination and is on the agenda. We have extremely limited opportunities to hear pipe organs and see incredible architecture in our rural Oregon region. My husband loves wildlife so we could major in cathedrals and minor in game preserves? Dear man, he is willing to go wherever I’d like to go. He just wants to keep me safe and warm.