Friday, December 24, 2010

Back traveling and blogging... again!

The thing about writing is that it's a solitary occupation. It's okay to whip out your little leather bound notebook and propelling pencil to jot down a couple of bon mots in company but anything more could be construed as just rude. On my last holiday I imagined that I'd be scribbling away whenever I got the chance but even though I went by myself I was living with others and we were generally armed with our cameras from dawn to dusk. And if we weren't snapping away or toiling over a hot Photoshop (well actually the Nikon equivalent which I wasn't a fan of due to my camera of choice being a Leica and it coming originally accompanied by Photoshop Elements which just seems so much more intuitive, but enough of technology frustrations) we were eating delicious food (which of course I also photographed) but now I'm heading forth for my Christmas break and I'm determined to attempt to record some of the fabulous places and tasty food I've enjoyed over the last few months (years!)
I do seem to be permanently apologising for being a dreadfully delinquent blogger. I so admire those that manage to write interesting, witty and informative blogs every day. Like many I write a lot at work each day, but spreadsheets and emails are not so artistically imaginative. I hope I mostly achieve informative, I can only hope for interesting also and crave for wittiness! Though a witty spreadsheet may indeed be a challenge! But after a long day doing my real job and wrangling my inbox into something less likely to erupt into fireworks of consonants and vowels I struggle to conjure the creative juices to commit to words the culinary musings that swirl round my head.
But yet again I find myself making promises, I think my two New Year's resolutions should definitely be to write more (blog wise) and do my expenses more regularly. I don't know if you're reading this H but if so I can hear you cheering at the latter. As the festive season stretches ahead of me hopefully with days filled with picturesque walks armed with my camera (note to self - must pack remotely sensible footwear), writing, reading and relaxing preferably in front of a roaring fire. There will be Michelin Christmas fare to savour, photograph beautifully and write about. Once I've got my bearings there's a little steam train I may have to ride to add to my nostalgic steam journeys of Britain (though I have no recollection of ever just getting from a to b on a steam train, I'm too young for that. All my steam train journeys have been at the hands of train enthusiasts who've lovingly restored some neglected carriages and coaxed a retired engine back to life to start breathing like a dragon again.
My destination for Christmas is the Isle of Wight. I've never been but when my original plans to return back to North Norfolk fell through because I didn't book my hotel early enough I threw myself into the hands of the Sawday's Special Places to Stay website and filtered by "restaurants with rooms". Lots of interesting ideas popped up but I did think I should possibly consider inclement weather just in case. As it turned out I had surprisingly percipiency as various parts of country seem very much buried under snow at this point, with possibly more to come. Now I'm not there yet (my journey is a bus, two trains, a ferry, another train and then a taxi) but I'm hoping the Isle of Wight's infamous micro-climate means I'll not be entirely snowed in. But if the weather does take a turn for the worse it will be the perfect excuse to stay tucked up by the fire, sipping mulled wine and writing. I'm crossing everything for a wifi connection so that after all that effort I can release my ponderings, my ruminations if you will, onto the world wide interweb.
But before I get all cosy in my little boutique-y home-from-home for a few days there's the small matter of getting there. Out of my train carriage window of train number two I see much more snow than I left behind, and am grateful that unusually for me I donned proper hiking boots for this journey. I'm not known for being suitably shod on any occasion (flashbacks of high heeled, strappy sandals on a Hawaiian beach and stiletto suede shoes for the chilly French countryside (read cobbles, grass, gravel etc.)) but for once I feel curiously prepared. Okay I will slip into something more comfortable, i.e. high-heeled and sequined, on safe arrival in 'Narnia' but for now I'm ready - Snow Queen and all. The most exciting part if the journey for me is the third train, apparently the Isle of Wight's dinky little Island line uses two old London tube carriages. Seeing I board a variety of tube trains on a daily basis I'm not sure why the thought of some vintage displaced underground carriages delights me so but it does. I guess it just makes it feel a bit more of an adventure.
Generally Christmas time is when we go somewhere very familiar, a childhood home, squashed around a large, loud dining table with the extended family, making the annual pilgrimage to the more far flung relatives clutching be-tinseled parcels and bottles of something warming. But my festive holiday is a little different, I'm going to a brand new place, to experience a totally different Christmas with strangers. I won't have a stocking to investigate or surprise parcels to unwrap but I will have a new world to explore, turkey-free gourmet food to savour and no washing up! For all of you trying to get to other places this Christmas both near and far I wish you undelayed journeys, considerate snow drifts and a warm welcome on arrival and of course a very merry Christmas. Ho ho ho!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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