Nothing like planning next year's holiday in Europe to chase away winter blues.
I've just paid a 200 euro deposit for accommodation in the Pyrenees in late July. It took a bit of soul searching before finally parting with the brass as the cancellation fees are truly horrendous. Actually we wanted to be there a week earlier but it was already booked out due to a certain rather large and well known race that will be there then.
My lead up plans for next year's foray into the Masters World Road Champs include riding (with Alex) the cols d'Aspin, Tourmalet and Peyresourde, followed by Mont Ventoux and Alpe d'Huez (although been there done that once already). I'll probably not do all of those but if I do and if I'm still alive, I'll then really enjoy some rest and recuperation in the north of Italy with my sister. The original plan called for hiring a campervan to give us flexibility, but that's been scrapped in favour of leasing a station wagon and hiring apartments for a week at a time.
Now to look for apartments and to decide which French city to pick the car up from. Of all the things I've learned from my European adventures, 2 stand out...never hire a car in Austria as its wickedly expensive and never, ever fly into or out of Munich airport ...it runs a close second to Heathrow in the " avoid at all costs" stakes..Salzberg and Manchester being good alternatives to those two.