It snowed here yesterday, and so it seems only right that we’re heading off for the winter tomorrow.

Even so, it’s so beautiful, it’s always wrenching to leave. It’s said that home is where your books are, and leaving my books is hard. 

It’s going to be a long trip. We’re going to London, Paris, Burgundy and Switzerland before returning to Toronto and heading down to Mexico for six months. It’s a complex transition to pack for, a complex trip to plan! 

But by tomorrow mid-day, the items on my To Do Lists (note: more than one list) will have been ticked off, and those things not … tant pis! 

I believe in Travel Gremlins … don’t you? They’re a playful sort of spirit that will throw a surprise catastrophe in your path just when you’re about to step out the door. A basement flood, a child walking into a hornet’s nest, the cat having kittens—these are the more memorable tricks they’ve played on me in the past. I’m on guard! 

Going over one of my lists, I noted an invitation from the owner of The Red Wheelbarrow in Paris to stop in for a visit. She’d posted a lovely review of Mistress of the Sun on her blog. A few quotes:  

Mistress of the Sun was a thoroughly enjoyable read.”

“Rich descriptions aside, what elevates this book from romantic fiction … is the portrait Gulland paints of Petite. As portrayed under Gulland’s skillful hands, Petite is a conflicted person who struggles to do her best according to her convictions. While she loves the King greatly, she is unable to reconcile this love with her religious convictions.”

I’m looking forward to meeting the proprietors of The Red Wheelbarrow on this trip. Anyone who names a bookstore after a poem by William Carlos Williams is “thumbs up” in my mind. From the photo above, it looks like my kind of bookstore.  

My travel reading has been selected: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. Have you read it?