We are off to London in a couple of hours. I love train trips, I've loved them since I was a kid, travelling across Canada, through the Rockies from Vancouver-Jasper, when I was a student, working at a resort there in the summers, or to Toronto and Montreal, on family trips or on my own: the Rockies, the endless prairies then the rolling hills into Ontario and Quebec. It now seems like the stuff of myth.

We are taking the Eurostar of course, out of the Gare du Nord to St Pancras in London. Even the stations are mythic--rolling out of Paris across the hilly north, villages and towns clustered around grey stone churches, fields and of course, shopping malls and highways; then into London, coming out along Regent's Canal. St Pancras is much nicer than the Gare du Nord and more recent. It's a place people go, not only to catch a train. The British Library is nearby, you quickly walk into Bloomsbury. But we are headed to Hackney where our daughter lives.