Playing Pick Up Sticks, I Guess

Well, this is the deadline I set for myself. The one I can’t blow off and look in the mirror tomorrow morning. I said that 90 days out from The Next Big Adventure ™ I would begin posting about it. Other deadlines have come and gone, but this is the one I knew would stick, and here we are.

UPDATE: I did write this 90 days out, but what with one thing and another, did not hit the send button. No matter. I invite you to subscribe to my updates. Just put your email address in that handy little box over there on the right, and hit the “subscribe” button. Every time I publish something new, you’ll get a notice in your email inbox to come visit. Please do!

So what’s the adventure? I am going to the UK for a year. As noted elsewhere, a year ago, I sold my house and my possessions, paid off debts, and found a new home for my beloved Mz Mitz. I have been house sitting in Washington DC since then. My Homeowner gets back from her Foreign Service assignment at the end of May, and on July 2, I take the train to Philadelphia for a day of touristing, then board a plane for Dublin.

How will I live? I’ll be house/cat sitting for almost the entire time. My Social Security, even as paltry as it is, will cover food and public transportation costs, and my chronic collecting itch will be suppressed by living out of one bag and a camera case. Oh, and the cost of excess baggage or shipping stuff home goes a long way, too! I do have to buy winter clothes, though, so will be checking out the charity shops for Harris Tweed jackets and Barbour raincoats!

The point is to travel slowly, spend time in places, really look at the landscape and environment, and (of course) visit gardens and talk to people about food. Another important part of this journey is to do things I’ve never done. So one of my housesits is a canal boat sit! There are sits in London, near Cambridge, in the Midlands, and in coastal Cumbria. I still want to find a good sit in Brighton, so I can visit The Regency Townhouse and have nice long chats with the wonderful staff. The house/catsits are out there, but so far no one is traveling when I need to sit! C’mon, folks!

Things start off at the Oxford Symposium for Food and Cookery in Oxford, with my bookselling friend of many years. Then the two of us go over to Durham to visit one of my favorite (favourite?) Living History Museums – Beamish! I’ve been there twice before, but this time will be especially special, as they have begun a major expansion and there is a lot happening. For one thing, the bakery that was just being built the last time I was there is now open and the cookies look SO tempting! Then we have a few days messing around in London before D goes home to Brooklyn, and I begin my house and cat sitting adventures.

I am so eagerly anticipating my sit on the west side of London, for a month! While I certainly plan many visits to places in the urban core, I am excited to my toes that the house is right on the Thames Path. Walks to Kew and Hampton Court and points further afield, here I come! Two nearby places I’ve meant to get to and never did are the Wetlands Center and Fulham Palace. They’re right next door, now. I am desperately hoping to score a ticket to see Ian McKellen in Lear at the Duke of York Theatre. We’ll see. I don’t think standing at the box office looking old and pitiful will work, so I’ll be eagerly eyeing every bargain and shamelessly begging any “influential” friends I might have. Ha!

I won’t promise to write every day, because I may not have internet access or inspiration. But what will I write about next? Packing, because there are a zillion travel blogs out there that tell you how/what to pack and they are ALL a laff a minute!

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