I usually joke with Mark that the only suitable place for us, when we become the rich author and the eminent Nobel prize scientist, is a medieval castle in France. It will be a Bela Lugosi life.

We’ll have a village nearby, and there will be peasants, a moat, a drawbridge, and a dungeon where Mark can do his experiments. I will have the tower to myself, and I’ll walk up the stairs every day with a torch, because that is what you must do. It’s tradition. Just as it is tradition for the villagers to, eventually, descend upon the castle with pitch-forks and torches to drive out the evil that lurks within.

I will go around in the village and wish everyone ‘Good moaning’, and I shall tell the butcher only once that I want my meat this way or that. Possibly I will wear a stalk of garlic around my neck. This will be a pastiche life of a Bela Lugosi life. An ‘allo ‘allo with a castle, and strangeness within.

Of course, I will have to suffer the undignified pride of the working man who complains that I think I’m better than everyone else. When we interview for servants and valets, I will have to suffer Mark rallying the workers and the peasants in the village to storm the castle. It will be Bastille day, without the Bastille, but with a quaint and charming medieval castle decorated just right and modern. My Bodum kettle will look nice next to the rack and the wheel.

Alas, dreaming of a peasant’s revolt against the aristocracy of us is just that. At least we can, like today, get into his monster Audi, put on the stereo on full, and just drive into the countryside. It’s getting a bit chilly to do much, but we can walk hand in hand on the beach and look toward the thin strip of dirt on the horizon which is France. Maybe we should go there? Even if there’s no medieval castle waiting for us on the other side?

We didn’t have much of a vacation this summer, did we?