'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Letter to the Principal, and Itinerary

A good store of firewood for the house-sitter

This was the result of the two month's planning:  A proposed itinerary.  N suddenly realised this trip was actually going to happen and started getting excited.  I had enrolled her in Italian language night-classes for 6 weeks, but she still didn't really believe we would actually be going.  (I could say "buono sera" and "ciao" and that was it!)   My 53% School Certificate French would have to get us by in France. 

--- College

The Principal.

Mr D----

Re:  N---- 

I hereby apply on behalf of my daughter N,  for permission for a temporary exemption from attendance at --- College, for a period of not more than three months, from 29th August 2005.

This is on the grounds of her undertaking a European educational tour (see attached itinerary) which I believe will provide her with a unique and challenging opportunity for learning that she may not get again.

My daughter and I plan to visit England, Scotland, Eire, France, Italy and possibly Belgium and Germany.  In this time she will be keeping a detailed daily diary, taking photographs, and every three or so weeks will be writing a long letter to her social studies teacher and class recounting her adventures.

Please would you apply to the appropriate government authority on our behalf.

Thanks also for your enthusiasm and interest in our travel plans, D.  Will bring you back a stick of Brighton Rock.

Yours faithfully,

Katherine D-


To Whom it May Interest:
Proposed Itinerary

N’s Trip to the World

This Friday 26 will be my daughter N’s. last day at school for a while.

She and I will be travelling in the UK and Europe and we won’t be back in New Zealand for 11 weeks.  She will probably be back at school on Monday 21 November. 

We plan to visit England, Scotland, Eire, France, Italy and possibly Belgium.  In this time she will be keeping a deatiled daily diary, taking photographs, and every three or so weeks will be writing a letter to her social studies teacher and class recounting her adventures, as well as, no doubt, postcards to her special friends.

Our plans are:

31 August leave Tauranga

1 September flight Auckland to London Stansted via Singapore and Amsterdam.

2 September Arrive in England:

Base: Colchester, Essex.

East Bergholt, where painter John Constable lived and painted

Colchester, Britain's oldest town (Roman walls etc.)

Sutton Hoo (a Saxon ship burial)

E.Sussex - Bateman’s - home of Rudyard Kipling

Ely - cathedral - ‘The Ship of the Broads’

Cambridge ( city tour in a double open-topped bus)

London:  (The Tower of London and the Crown Jewels,  do a brass rubbing at St Martins in the Fields, see the changing of the guards, visit the zoo & see the Snowdon Aviary, Madame Tussauds waxworks museum , the Planetarium, the Thames barrier, the Natural History, Science and Technology and Victoria and Albert Museums, and go up in the ‘Eye’.

9 September - Pick up hired car  from Colchester.

Hastings, Battle & Rye - an old smugglers’ village

Portsmouth. visit friends

The New Forest - the wild ponies

Exmoor - walking

Wiltshire - Stourhead gardens,  

Dartmouth - castle ruins and harbour & have a Devonshire clotted cream tea.

Fowey - Cornish fishing village  

Mousehole - just for the name

St Michael's Mount - visit the island at low tide.

Lynton and Lynmouth - go on the special Hillside tram

The Cheshire Gorge - Cheddar Caves and stone-age Cheddar man

Bath -  The Roman baths, the Royal Crescent.

Valley of the White Horse - walking

Cotswolds - walking, visit Kelmscott Manor, William Morris’s country home

7-9 October France: (weekend) Paris:  Walking - Avenue Champs-Elysee, Place de la Concorde, Galleries La Fayette, Printemps, shopping, Le Tour Eiffel,  Arc de Triomphe. 

10 October Back to Colchester.  Return hired car.

12 October Flight Stansted to Dublin - pick up hired car



Co Wicklow, Glendalough Monastery, 


Waterford - crystal factory, Kilkenny - medieval city with narrow streets, Carlow


Skerries - staying with friends.  Eat irish stew and try Guinness.

18 October - return hired car. Flight Dublin to Glasgow.


Glasgow - the Glasgow Science Centre

Stirling  - the Castle - learn about Rob Roy and William Wallace

Edinburgh - tour of the castle & eat shortbread.  

Inverness - Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle.


24 October Flight Aberdeen to Pisa.


Pisa. The leaning tower.  

Florence & Siena - Frescoes by Giotto and Ducio & the works of the high Renaissance painters, sculptors and architects,  Gothic, Baroque architecture, Tuscan countryside walks. 

Naples - Vesuvius & Pompeii.  Eat proper Napoli Pizza!

1 November Riviera Night Train from Naples - Nice



Grasse - visit a perfume factory

Provence, 1 week’s stay in a small village, market day, relaxing, walking.  practising speaking french.  

Nimes. Roman amphitheatre, Le pont du Gare (beautiful stone arched bridge)

12 November Flight Nimes to London Luton England

Welwyn Garden City

13 November Back to Colchester.  

15th November fly home to Auckland via Amsterdam and Singapore. New Zealand

Contact and mailing address while we are away:  

C/O John and Dot -------Stratford St Mary, Colchester, Essex, UK.

Texts cell phone: 021 ---------. Please text as often as you like.

Emergency calls (but will cost me mega$$$ to receive!)  cell phone as above.

Katherine D------   21/8/05    (Hme phone:  ------, Ellen here while we are away)


Next: Hotels, Villas and Youth Hostels; Booking accommodation in Europe on the net.


  1. Sounds a great itinerary. The bit in London, I would do differently (Harrods isn't included, I see!)

  2. Ah, well, we planned to do some things not on the list... don't forget this was for the principal, to convince that it was suitably 'educational'.

  3. A wonderful itinerary. Just to prove I read it I hope that you enjoyed the 'Cheshire' Gorge!

    I happened to live in Cheshire once upon a time!

  4. GB, we did indeed enjoy the Gorge. The caves, the little museum, the cafe, the 'dinosaur park' and afterwards, Wells.


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