A couple of decisions to be made today in the Travel Department.

Do I fly to Birmingham in February to see my son’s ice hockey games there and in Sheffield? I could drive – say 6 hours to Birmingham with a break halfway. Maybe 5 hours to get home from Sheffield, but it’s a 20:15 face off so I’d be home at 3am (earliest).

11 hours of driving in 36 hours… Last time I looked I could get a flight for £50 return.

That decision is looking easy.

In case you think it’s a bit excessive to do a trip like that, I miss a lot of Mark’s games because I’m in Germany so much. Getting 2 in a weekend is a good deal. As a bonus, I can visit the Peak District or Stratford on Avon on the Sunday before heading to Ice Sheffield.

The other one is about March. My long standing urge to spend some time back in Toulouse, where I lived for a year aged 19-20. I always had it in mind to go in the rugby season, and take in a game at Stade Toulousain. Rugby was half my livelihood that year.

I just never seem to be able to find the right weekend when there’s a game on.

Then I had the idea to skip Stade (whom we all hated anyway – we were a “wee” 2nd Division club and they were the big superstars). Why not make the game one at Carcassonne – where I played my first league game? They are still in Division 2.

It fits the pattern of my life that I’ve been to one of the most visited and scenic cities in Europe, but only to play rugby. That anomaly could be sorted.

The current plan is to see the game against Agen (one of the big French clubs) on  22 March. Do I go for the weekend? Time to see Carcassonne before the match, and Toulouse in the remaining time. Do I go for a week? Get an apartment, work when I have to, and spend more time just living the old life.

Toulouse crew

Toulouse crew

I can get flights for under €90 return using some Air France points. 7 nights in an apartment isn’t much more than 3 in a hotel. I can make my own food part of the time, so I wouldn’t be eating out all the time.

Yes, decisions to be made.

© iain taylor 2013

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