Do I want to go to London? I ask myself.
Sure, I do.
I’m going soon.
Only I’d rather go now.
Except it’s raining in London.
Will winter ever end?
Why do I want to go to London?
I can’t remember.
I’ve planned a minimalist trip. I’ve booked a flight and a hotel room.
Budget rooms do not have bathrooms en suite, the hotel website says.
Holiday Inn, I said to my husband. Why not stay at the Holiday Inn instead?
No, we don’t often stay at chains. In Bemus Point, New York, near Chautauqua, we stayed at the Hotel Lenhart, a lovely hotel with rocking chairs on the porch and seven-course meals in the dining room…and we shared a bathroom with the people next door.
So I reserved a room at an English hotel, and pray we have our own bathroom. There is no way I’m walking down the hall at midnight.
I got the passport, and that was fun. The clerk and I conferred about some of the odder questions on the application. I ended up laughing, and the picture turned out better than expected.
I’ve got two guidebooks.
I love the guidebooks. Hmm… I think I’ll skip the two-hour walk along the Regent’s Canal and head right to Starbucks.
No, I’m joking, though I did look Starbucks up, and there are two or three or six where I’m staying.
I hope I can find my way to an English coffeehouse.
And guess what? There’s even Target!
All right, I’m not going to Target.
There are so many things I want to do. The Portobello Road…museums…bookstores…the Portobello Road…museums… bookstores. (Starbucks…)
I only know about the Portobello Road from Muriel Spark.
We’re going on a Dickens walk, provided the guide doesn’t wear a costume.
We’re going to Shepherd’s Bookbinders and get some handmade and decorative papers.
I’ll have to buy another suitcase just to hold the guidebooks.
And if I shop for books I’ll have to buy another suitcase.
Maybe I’d better not shop for books.