It’s challenging to think of good news this week in the wake of the Pittsburgh tragedy and senseless murder of our friends’ son in Portland, but this brought a smile.
We all know about the 4 C’s for diamonds, but what about your vacation– possibly a diamond in the rough; hopefully, not a lump of coal!
Some factors we should consider are Cost, Climate, Compatibility (not just you and your companion; also you and your itinerary) and Comfortable Shoes.
Add to these, the F factor: flexibility.
As I wrote last week, DH and I found ourselves in a bit of a bind. We’d committed (and pre-paid, thank-you-very-much) to 3 weeks in a small cottage in North Devon. Which might have been lovely, except:
- Cottage was too remote, with no phone service or Internet
- Cottage was eternally damp, due to being in a microclimate
- Cottage was not near ANYthing, necessitating lengthy drives along perilously narrow roads with locals who knew where they were going careening towards us at breakneck speed. DH was not amused.
We came back to the cottage one day last week (when once again the TV was on the blink) and had a heart-to-heart. The upshot: “We’re miserable, let’s get the hell out of here.”
First idea, since we’re due in London on the 31st: Pick somewhere else, e.g., Somerset or Salisbury, and go there. But then, a brainstorm: Why limit ourselves, if we’re leaving early anyway?? Where haven’t we been that would be a short flight away? And voila (sorry; can’t find accent marks in my iPad!), a new plan: tomorrow we’ll head to Copenhagen for 3.5 days, somewhere neither of us has been before and it’s been on our bucket list.
So. We’ve booked the hotel, gotten opera tickets (a shared passion), and done next to no research. BUT! It can’t be worse than sitting in that dreary cottage! Right?!?
Flexibilty! Never feel you have to stick with a hotel, destination etc. if there’s any way you can afford to make a change.
We may still want to kill each other after a month of togetherness, but at least it will be in a new setting.
Have lovely week! Xx, Alisa
A cow found a creative way to avoid slaughter by swimming to a nearby island. The outcome is delightful. Here’s the link.
DH and I had a genius plan that hasn’t QUITE worked out as imagined: (Has this ever happened to you?, she asks…) Rent a house in the English countryside for a month and use it as a home base from which to explore, so as not to eat out every meal and be able to live more like locals.
The fly in the ointment is that our cozy little cottage has no WiFi, no phone signal, and a currently non-working television. In an emergency we could use a provided key to unlock a landline in one of the outbuildings…. Somehow, this does not inspire confidence.
As a result, we can check e-mail, bank accounts, etc. only sporadically. I like to imagine I can do without these updates, as I survived many decades before we all had cell phones and iPads, but the pathetic truth is that I’ve become used to immediate access when I need a recipe, map, random facts, or an Amazon Prime download. And I like it that way.
My parents and grandparents used to fret about the “good old days” but when I look back, I see only major improvements since my youth. For instance:
1) Flat irons. Back in the sixties, if you wanted straight hair a la Francoise Hardy or Jean Shrimpton, you literally ironed it. With an actual iron and ironing board! The alternative was to wrap your hair around a giant beer or coffee can until it dried.
2) Microwaves. What a brilliant way to reheat coffee, let alone cook a potato. I truly don’t care if radioactive waves are shortening my life as long as I can have a hot cup on demand.
3) Google. I don’t begrudge one cent of the money those gazillionaires have made. Not having to go to the library or plow through 400 volumes of the encyclopedia when I want to know something is priceless.
4) 500+ TV channels. I may only watch three of them but I have OPTIONS, dammit!
5) GPS. Maps are great, but having a cheery voice tell you when to turn left or “recalculate” is infinitely better than hearing the same information from an exasperated spouse.
What mod cons do YOU depend on?
Happy weekend, all!
Two Dutch scientists have developed a bioplastic made from algae– vegetation that takes in carbon and releases oxygen through the same photosynthesis as other plants.
So far, they’ve been able to turn the dried material into something that 3D printers can use to create items such as bottles, tableware and trash cans!