We're off again in the morning to Croatia. Flying to Zagreb - and the plan is to take the bus down to Zadar, calling at the lakes in Plitvic en route. Then we're meeting up with our friends and taking a week to sail down to Split.
We had an email from them last night - the weather has changed. Oh dear! Is it autumn already in the Adriatic too? The landscape here is looking distinctly ahead of itself - the way the light falls on the land, the trees just on the point of turning - the sort of look I associate with the end of September rather than the beginning.
So I hope we do manage to catch a bit of summery heat on the boat, and not too many storms. I am looking forward to swimming in the sea - maybe with no clothes on in quiet places, and staring at the finny fish in those clear pelucid waters. I doubt they will stare back at me.
As usual, a kind of pre-travel panic is starting to set in. I am so ill-prepared - just remembered to put some vital clothing through the wash this morning. We spent the last 3 days in Brighton, helping our son and his girl move into their new house. It's very pretty, Victorian, and will be a great place for them - but the previous owners managed to smash more or less every door in the place, and a considerable portion of the bannister rods. So our visit was all about ripping up filthy old flooring, washing down walls, mending these doors, carting out rubbly stuff which emerged from under the vinyl, sweeping, making tea and meals, washing up with no hot water, all that sort of thing. Really good - and tiring too.
One great thing is that their new house is just off the Lewes Road, where there are lots of shops selling ethnic food (are we allowed to say 'ethnic' still?) So, wonderful dates and baclava from the Turkish shop, fresh spices from Pakistan, fruits which you barely ever see anywhere else, hot Algerian bread and freshly cooked falafels, packs of the most amazing olives, a ffoodie paradise. Lucky young couple!
Anyway, here we are, packing and tidying the house, doing admin, checking maps, passports, etc.
Outside, the extraordinary Faversham Hop Festival is in full swing - bines on sale, stilt-walkers stalking the crowds, people drinking beer in copious quantities, loud loud music coming from platforms, Morris dancers clacking about, people with faces blacked up like sweeps, all having a jolly time.
It's pretty surreal when you come to think about it.
So - now - off to make lists, water the potplants in the garden, empty the bins, that sort of thing.
I will do my best to keep you up to date with the blog as we go - not sure how often I can reach the internet.