I'm off tomorrow for a 4 week trip to the UK and Italy. The main purpose of the trip is to take my Mum to Cornwall where her ancestors originated. Specifically we're taking a boat trip to the Scilly Islands and hopefully the small island of St Martin's where the Ellis family has been living as far back as we've been able to trace. In Italy we're retracing the steps (or tracks) of my father's tank regiment in the Apennines. Along the way there's a week in London and a visit to Rome and Venice. This is my first trip to Europe and, as you would imagine, I'm most looking forward to discovering the food cultures and book shops of both countries. While I have some idea what to expect from the Italian leg, I have no idea what the food scene will be like in the UK-fish & chips & fried Mars Bars? I guess I'm about to find out. While this is not primarily a book-buying trip, what I am expecting to find in the UK is some excellent cookbooks, particularly antiquarian. I guess I'll find that out soon enough too!