Sunday 30 December 2018

Looking forward to 2019

Rail Adventures Planned for the new year

2019 will be a new experience for me, whatever unexpected surprises may come along, for at the end of January I retire from the "day job" and, theoretically, will have more time for travel, and for writing. There may well be, then, a bit more activity on the blog, but as I've never lived this sort of life before I find it hard to predict how things will be. Whether the UK's impending departure from the European Union will make any difference I also find it hard to predict. Not only might this make travel into Europe more complicated and expensive, it may make everything more expensive and therefore reduce what we can do. We are looking forward both to visiting new places and to travelling on "interesting" trains or routes.

I already have some trips in the diary but hope to add a few more, notably to Cornwall at some point. Already planned is a weekend tour of the West Highlands of Scotland in April, a day out in May in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, and the best part of two weeks in summer with Great Rail Journeys in Switzerland. The Scottish and Swiss trips are booked and committed and the Birmingham one advertised as a "Come with me" trip so is virtually committed. We shall also have to arrange to be on the Sussex coast again in August to visit our friends on holiday at Bracklesham Bay.

For the first time since 1980 I shall be free for Holy Week and Easter and we are thinking of visiting a cathedral city and attending the principal worship at the cathedral with exploration and leisure in between the services. Looking at the English cathedrals' websites, York looks the most likely to provide what we are looking for, and would be the first time for ages that we have ventured north on the East Coast Main Line with LNER's excellent catering.

There will also, I hope, be several days out and short breaks once the pattern of life becomes
established, for we have little idea yet of how it will be to live in our new home, the first time in our 38-year marriage that we'll have a home of our own, private, chosen and fitted out by us. We are having as much done as possible before moving in so that I do not have to spend weeks of my life on DIY! But I do have the Swiss model railway to build when I'm not travelling! An annual trip to the Thermae Spa in Bath is one aspiration, and this can often be fitted into a trip to the south or west of England. We have been given for Christmas a voucher for an afternoon tea in London, so that is another trip to come!

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