Also in September 2006, I visited Krakow, Poland, for a conference, and took a day out to visit Auschwitz. This is something one simply has to do, once in one’s life. My father’s mother’s family, the Bergmans, and her mother’s family, the Dembitzers, all Polish, would all have been despatched at Belson or Dachau, long before Auschwitz was built to despatch the rest of European Jewry. But Auschwitz is certainly the largest, and most awesome of the camps, and a death camp where on one day at the peak of its operations 100,000 people perished.
In September 2006, before the start of term, I took the opportunity for a short weekend break in Carcassonne, which is my favourite French town, staying with a friend of 20 years standing, Arabella Churchill, in the delightful villa she and her husband have bought and done up in a
In July/August I went to Canada, for a stay in Montreal, to attend the first World OutGames with the Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus. We also stopped off in Toronto and at the Niagara Falls before returning home.
In June 2006 I headed off up to the Isles of Scotland again – this time going as far as Lewis, to visit the stones of Callanish.
2006 was a year of many travels – the first year in which my job, (which I started in 2004), began to require frequent trips abroad. The year’s trips began in March with a visit to Athens, where I took the opportunity to enjoy the Acropolis and the Museums.
In the summer of 2005 I made a visit to the Inner Hebrides, Scotland. I have been to Scotland many times, and this proved to be the first of many more visits – almost annual from now on. My parents first took me when I was a child, and we went to Skye, and perhaps also to the Uists, though I don’t recall exactly. My next visit, under my own steam – in a Mazda 323 – was in 1995, when Luke and I visited Edinburgh, Drumnadrochit on Loch Ness, paid a toll to drive over the new bridge to Skye, and went to Mull and my first visit to Lochbiue, and to Iona. In 2001 I went with Jan for my first trip to Lewis, where we spent a week in a little cottage on the main road up from the ferry port on Harris, and spent almost every day at Callanais Stone Circle.
On this trip, in 2005, I went to Skye, and returned to Mull, to again visit Lochbuie and Iona.