Saturday, September 30, 2006

Paper trails

Only one month to go before we head off for our annual trip to England. This time we'll be combining business with pleasure, visiting friends and family in Hampshire, Yorkshire, Sussex and Hertfordshire, while we juggle visits to bookstores to sell our books, and presentations to writing groups. The first is already booked - and CBC As It Happens listeners might get a kick out of this. I'll be speaking to a writing group in Reading, which is only 3,000 miles plus from Vancouver.



View of Winchester, Hampshire from St. Giles Hill

We'll also be exploring some ideas for travel articles in Winchester and London, and I'll be following up on some research leads for my novel.

All in all, we'll be doing enough work while we're on the road to be able to write off some of the expenses we'll be incurring - not inconsiderable given the strength of the quid these days.

Used to be, I was happy to take out the whole family for a meal on my last night 'at home'. These days, even coffee out for four almost breaks the bank. But the coffee! What used to be served up was something that resembled dishwater in which the family dog had been bathed. These days most places serve it rich and hot with good cream, and brown sugar.

My favourite coffee shop is in the Winchester Cathedral Refectory served by proper English ladies (volunteers all). Then I like to take to wander around Cathedral Close, past Pilgrim's School - where I once held down an after-school job as a kitchen maid - and through the South Gate at Cheyney Court into Southgate Street, one of my favourite areas of the city (picture below).








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