Whatever else you may say about me, it could never be said that I leave things till the last minute. I suppose many people would consider the fact that I have booked our holiday some six months ahead a trifle sad; where is your spontaneity and impulsive streak?, you could say. And I would reply - I did lots of sudden and exciting things when I was young; now I want to have the pleasure of something to look forward to during the rainy Brittany winter. I want to think with longing of strolling around Murano or drinking wine outside a trattoria.
I've booked the hotel - it's number two on Trip Advisor's list of Venetian Hotels. Number one was extortionate, this one is a much better price and the rooms do look lovely. It is this one. It's not yet possible to book the train travel. Their booking system doesn't cope with an anal person who likes to plan things months in advance, but they will send me an email when booking opens which is sometime in February.
However, one place where it is possible to book tickets months, sometimes as many as 12 months, ahead is an opera house. Now I'm a sucker for Puccini operas and luckily (or not so luckily for poor Mr French Fancy) Madame Butterfly will be on at the Venice opera house, La Fenice (that's it in the photo), during the dates we are there. I have just booked two good seats - which was no mean feat as the online booking form was all in Italian (at the end of the booking I saw there was an English option at the top - but it's all good linguistic practice - non siete d'accordo?)
Let's just hope that we both stay healthy and get to go on this holiday. A couple of years ago I was rushed into hospital (it's a very long post by the way) and a trip to Nice had to be postponed by six months. Then there was our long weekend in Paris to go to the ballet last Christmas, which unfortunately saw us coming back prematurely due to sickness - I gave the ballet tickets to a pharmacist who was kind to a sick Englishman. You see - that is the downside of planning anything way ahead. You don't even know if you will still be alive.