Sunday, August 20, 2006


Rail pass
Toothpaste? I have to call the airlines to see if I can bring any liquids on board, any toothpaste, or I have to abandon them and shop for some when I land in London. The rules of packing have changes again with the recent discovery of terror threat in the form of baby food. It is part of the new travel rules but no matter, I am still going to be traveling. I need a change of scenery, so soon, considering I was in Italy almost 5 months ago. Yes, so soon! Los Angeles, California and the USA are wonderful places to work in; there's lots of work for me, but its work, work and more work. I can only work if I can punctuate work with trips to Europe. Today is the last work day before I leave for London, Amsterdam and Brussels. I can feel the relief; I can feel that I'm tired; I heave a huge sigh of relief. I'm coming back to more work but for the next 2 weeks let me lose myself and enjoy myself abroad, sleeping in strange beds and eating strange food. Friends look enviously at me, what a charmed life. It is; it is also a lot of hard work and brutal budgeting, something I have been accustomed to. We were looking at my pictures of Northern Spain; it was only last year when I was in Santiago de Compostela and the French Pyrenees that I was eating Basque food. Some people haven't even heard of the word Basque. Stuart Wilde said, " rather than look at other people's peregrination, think to yourself, that could be me!". If they can do it, why can't I? Rumi said, " Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold/your own myth...." Now back to packing, I must remember the Pur water filters that Auntie Lili wanted. I won't be staying with her this trip. So I'd probably skip buying the bottle of scotch or the carton of Silk Cut cigarettes for her. Or maybe just a bottle of Bell's scotch from the liquor store near her place. I remember the many trips to London and the endless cups of tea at either Auntie Lili's or Auntie Mary's homes. Being in London means endless cups of tea, scones, strawberry jam, clotted cream, clotted cream icecream, Cornish Pasties, Ploughman's lunch and scotch eggs. I shall be taking the train to Brussels and Amsterdam. I have never been to either cities. It's going to be a lovely and new adventure. With me this trip will be my 13 year old niece, Ashley. We are going to have so much fun, as much fun as is legal. She's excited. When she was 10, I took her to France, at 11, we spent a Christmas in Toronto. I used to listen to travel stories told to me by friends and wishing I had some of my own. Now I have joined that club and have lots of travel stories. It means a very frugal lifestyle so I can afford to travel. I drive an older car and on days off, I take the bus or I walk. I eat lots of leftovers and haven't anything new in my wardrobe for a long time. I don't remember when I was in a mall the last time. Mind you, I still pay extra into my mortgage every month and I send $500 every month to my Schwab One account. It's a matter of priorities. Definitely no Starbucks coffee!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I love books. I have almost 1000 in my library. I can spend a fortune at any bookstore. I have been known to spend a fortune in used bookstores. Lately I have been trying to get an old book on I saw it offered for sale at $75 which I thought was exorbitant. I thought no one would want to buy it but I was wrong, it got sold under me. So I waited for another copy to be put on the market. It was and I'm paying $125 for it. I've searched the world for another copy and I was willing to pay whatever amount for it. Wow! When I read a book I like to look at the bibiography to see what other books the author consulted in the writing of that book. Oftentimes I find very interesting references and I go on to acquire those books and have been introduced to a whole other world of other authors. I found out what Bob Kiyosaki read and I found a treasure in Jim Rohn's writing. The list goes on. Sir Anthony Blount is an authority on the Baroque movement and I have started acquiring his books. There's another book in one of his bibliography and I'm trying to get that book. It's $149.00. So I'm holding off for just a few more weeks. "A book is a present you can open again and again".