Continuing the list of 100 things about me, I realize that some of these are veering more into the territory of "things that I like" but I'll argue that these are still things about me!
51. After years of resistance, I have come hooked on the novels of Philippa Gregory. I just re-read The Other Boleyn Girl.
52. I had resisted Gregory's novels, because the covers looked like conventional bodice-rippers. But they're actually very well-researched and Gregory, who hold a PhD in 18th century literature, knows what she is doing.
53. I'm looking forward to the movie version of The Other Boleyn Girl.
54. The Queen's Fool is another of Gregory's books that I very much enjoyed. An interesting view of how life was for Jews in 16th century Britain (and the rest of Europe, for that matter)
55. I've just ordered Earthly Joys by Gregory. This will be a change from the Tudor court, which has been the subject of all her novels that I've read thus far.
56. I'm also a fan of Mary Stewart's trilogy about Merlin and Arthurian legend, which begins with The Crystal Cave.
57. I only began reading mysteries a few years ago, hooked by mysteries set in Italy (because I'm hooked on Italy)
58. I'm now a big fan of Donna Leon's mysteries, although Brunetti is a bit too perfect.
59. I mourn the loss of Michael Dibdin because I really liked the Aurelio Zen mystery series. They were a bit off-beat; Zen's paranoia and bad luck was sometimes quite hilarious. To say nothing of the characters he met.
60. I also like Magdalen Nabb's series, set in Florence. I just know that the next time I'm in Firenze, I'll be poking around the Palazzo Pitti, looking for Marshal Guarnaccia.
61. Continuing the list of mystery writers who I enjoy reading, Andrea Camilleri's Sicilian mysteries are very good. In Rome in January, I actually (finally!) saw an episode of the TV series made based on his detective Salvo Montalbano. Somehow, it didn't look quite right to me.
62. I'm a fan of David Hewson's mysteries, also set in Italy. However, they do tend to be gory.
63. Not generally gory, and great fun, are the Ian Pears art mysteries with the competent Flavia di Stefano and Rome's art theft squad. And, of course, her bumbling boyfriend Jonathan.
64. I've never been able to figure out what books I would need to have if I were ever shipwrecked on a desert island. Likely something very long and complicated like Umberto Eco's The Name of The Rose.
65. I love classical music and opera.
66. Mozart is my favourite composer.
67. Don Giovanni could be my favourite opera.
68. However, I've never seen The Magic Flute, and I like the premise so someday it might become my favourite.
69. I've travelled to Italy seven times.
70. I love Italian pizza, specifically the very simple, thin crust style with a bit of tomato sauce, a bit of cheese, and perhaps one topping, particularly artichoke hearts or prosciutto.
71. I love prosciutto.
72. I could live on pecorino cheese.
73. I almost did live on pecorino cheese, for three weeks in Umbria in June 2007. I think I had it every day.
74. I think I could also live on a style of Italian cookie, Mulino Bianco Macine. They're plain, round like a small, flattened donut, and I'm completely hooked. I don't dare look for these in Ottawa, because if found them I'd eat them constantly.
75. I hate the sound of telephones ringing and actually don't much like talking on the phone.
76. I have three brothers and one sister. They all enjoy talking on the phone.
77. In my former profession, as a reporter, I was very active in my union.
78. For several years, I was a trustee on the board that managed our pension plan.
79. I miss that work now, in my new profession, because I'm very interested in pension issues. And labour issues.
80. I worry that a lot of women don't pay enough attention to retirement planning and pensions.
81. I should be saving more money, but I can't seem to stop traveling.
82. This year, I plan to make two trips to Italy.
83. I spent two weeks in Rome in January, rented an apartment, and loved it. January is a wonderful time to visit Rome.Next up: Bologna.
84. I traveled to Hong Kong about five years ago and thought it was fantastic.
85. One night, I went with a few colleagues to dinner on Landau Island. We had to hire a junk to take us across the Hong Kong harbour, which is beautiful at night (when you can't see all the garbage.)
86. I've also climbed onto and walked on the Great Wall of China, on a section not too far from Beijing. It was extraordinary.
87. I've seen the amazing Terracotta Warriors and been down into the archeological dig where they were found, near the Chinese city of Xi'an.
88. I'd very much like to visit China again.
89. I've also spent a week in Moscow, much of that time in the Kremlin. Some beautiful buildings, but it felt a bit oppressive.
90. I've only had a few days in Berlin and would like to spend more time there, an interesting city.
91. I've been to Vienna twice, once for work and one for pleasure. It's a lovely city, very civilized.
92. I also love Istanbul and would like to see it again.
93. The first time I went to Venice, it was by accident. And perhaps that was for the best because I hadn't had time to plan or prepare and so it's beauty was a complete (and wonderful) shock.
94. After that, I became obsessed with Italy.
95. My first visit to Rome, also my first solo trip to Europe, began when I landed there on Sept. 11, 2001. It took me a couple of days to piece together all that had happened in New York that day, because my hotel had only Italian channels so at first, I couldn't quite understand what had happened.
96. While I was staying there, I had the worst case of food poisoning of my entire life.
97. It didn't turn me off Rome, but it was the last time I allowed a travel agent to book a hotel for me.
98. For me, part of the fun of a trip is the planning.
99. Slow Travel is the best source I have found for planning any kind of travel.
100. I love Slow Travel!