I’ve got into the habit of paying calls to favourite blogs late at night, just before I get ready for bed. You do this at your peril because it can be really bad for your sleep pattern. Sometimes an interesting post just grabs a hold of your brain and you can’t stop it from wandering around. This happened to me the other night when I read this post from Karen at Books and Chocolate.
Before I knew it I heard the clock downstairs striking twice and I don’t know when I actually did get to sleep. The upshot of that is this list of places I would like to visit, or books I would like to be in. Karen, I hope you don’t mind me ‘nicking’ the idea.
1. I would have loved to have been a woman lucky enough to escape to the small mediaeval Italian castle, San Salvatore, which features in The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim.
2. Cornwall. I wanted to visit Cornwall for years after reading Rebecca as a young thing and eventually did get around to it. Many Cornish books later, it’s Winston Graham’s Poldark books which, set in Napoleonic times, I would love to be able visit. Minus the “morbid sore throat” obviously.
3. In a punt on the Isis at Oxford during the Brideshead Revisited era. It would have to be a gorgeous day for a picnic and ideally Aloysius the bear would be my companion – he doesn’t have a big appetite and he is teetotal!
4. On a Mississippi riverboat with Mark Twain as my companion and the smell of good cigars.
I found this riverboat photograph on Wikipedia and almost swallowed my tongue in surprise, (honestly) when I read that the Delta Queen was built in Dumbarton, the town I grew up in. I love the internet!
5. In Neverland telling stories to the “lost boys” and giving out lots of “thimbles”. (I’ve obviously got empty nest syndrome.) Sadly, few people read the original Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.
6. In Newfoundland around about the Quoyle’s Cove area, as featured in The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. Lots of warm clothing required.
7. An inhabitant of Tilling in the Mapp and Lucia books by E.F. Benson. I would love to contribute to the gossip.
In reality, we have a little list of places which we hope to visit one day and we are working our way through it.
1. Stratford upon Avon. To see the sights and whichever play they have on at the theatre there.
2. The City of Bath. I know that Jane Austen wasn’t keen on the place but I would love to walk in her footsteps and visit The Pump Rooms and generally soak up the Georgian atmosphere.
3. Derbyshire. For Jane Austen reasons again.
4. Norway. Ideally on a ship so we could sail up a fjord. I did this when I was 12 and remember it as being magical.
5. A certain French farmhouse in Normandy again, close to the D- Day landing beaches.
6. Cornwall again, especially the atmospheric Tintagel area which is steeped in King Arthur lore.
7. American Civil War areas. I’ve been interested in the subject for a long time and have the Ken Burns film with that great character Shelby Foote. This isn’t likely to happen as I don’t want to fly or have to go through all the security stuff. Still waiting for that “Beam me up Scottie” thingy.
I could go on for a long time, especially with the book ones, but seven seems like a good number to stop at.
I’ve just realised that I forgot to mention The Orient Express, minus a murder of course.
If anybody would like to share their ‘wish to visit lists’ with me, please leave a comment or a link to your post on the subject.