Thursday, 30 August 2012

In which I prepare to go on holiday

As I write this, the rain’s been bucketing down in London. I’m wearing jeans and a jumper and a scarf (a Union flag print scarf, no less). I wore a mac to work, and I sort of regret not having boots on. In August. Ah, the Great British summertime: less great than it is oh so very British.

Which is why I’m almost beside myself with excitement that I will soon be in the blissful state of being that is On Holiday – a state which can not come a second too soon.

Near enough this year's holiday destination as to make me blissfully happy when I look at it. Hurrah.

With just a couple of weeks to go, I’m preparing by conducting the pre-holiday rituals that happen year in, year out, regardless of who I’m holidaying with, and where.

It starts slowly, with the incessant checking of the weather in Holiday Destination. I’ve looked it up twice today already, and now have the location stored on the weather app on the phone. Currently at Ma TW’s house in Italian wine-making country (I know, right? Not just with him for his cooking), it is 29°C, and blazing sunshine. Tomorrow it’s going to be 32°C and blazing sunshine (that’s around 90, Fahrenheit fans). Blissful.

I’ve also begun the tanning process, albeit very gradually (moisturiser with self-tan in is the gift of the beauty gods to the world’s pale Janets). TW might be the sort of person who comes back from two-day press trips on beaches with an enviably deep golden glaze, but not I, and I need to begin preparations early to ensure that I don’t glow like a pasty white beacon out of any holiday snaps.

I’ve started wondering what I’ve done with the swimsuit / European plug adapter / beach bag. Of course, that’s all I’ve done, and not actually been bothered to do the useful bit of the process and look for the stuff. A decision I know I’ll rue come panic-packing time, but still not one that’s going to change before the very last minute.

And then there’s the reading material. I’ve been scouring my Amazon recommendations, several floors of Foyles, and Twitter for the books I’ll need given my average holiday reading rate of 1.1 books per day. In another couple of days, I’ll start to contemplate that this might be the point at which to dust off the Kindle. I’ll then ignore the notion, because “there’s nothing like a book”. There’s also the high probability that I’ll drop said Kindle into the pool or the sea. Or both. (If you have any recommendations, you know where I am. Twitter, probably.)

There’ll be a bit of time desperately raiding the bathroom shelves for suncream and failing to find it, necessitating a trip to Boots where I’ll spend approximately a middling fortune on new suncream. This is, of course, followed by the return home to find that the long-hunted for suncream has grown arms and is happily waving at me from the front of the bathroom shelf.

As we get closer to the day itself, there’ll be mad dashes for clothes that will be hot-weather appropriate despite the British high street stocking nothing but winter coats and gloves; the piling of stuff in the sitting room ready to take and the ensuring alarm that it won’t all fit in the case; the decanting of liquids into those teeny, tiny bottles that will never last a week; and the inevitable panic that I’ve lost my passport, despite it being where it always is.

After all which, I’m going to need a holiday, frankly.


Sean said...

This made me laugh - one of those horrible condescending laughs that people-with-children do to hide their jealousy.

Having recently returned from a week in Beaujolais (where my in-laws live, at least part of the year - my, we have things in common) I can relate to a lot of your rituals.

We left most things until the day before and completely forgot to pick up any Euros before we set off - thankfully there are usually a few left lying around the house.

My passport only arrived a week before we were due to set off (it expired in March, but somehow I manage to lose time so easily).

The holiday reading went as far as Roald Dahl, and not much further.

That said, I drank some very nice wine and came home way more tanned than I've been in years.

Blonde said...

Sean: EUROS! Damnit. Something else to add to the list. Beaujolais sounds wonderful. I'm hoping for nice wine and a tan too...

Sean said...

M: We were very lucky with the weather. It's the first time I've ever been anywhere where there was a weather-warning issued because of how hot it was - allegedly up to 40C, but we reckon it got no hotter than 37C. It was lovely.

We also visited a town called Annecy, which is in the foothills of the French Alps. It was my wife's idea. I just said "yes" without really looking into it. It was one of the most magical places I've ever been to - she's good at doing the *amazing* thing.

I heartily recommend it if you're ever in the area.

MissN said...

Very jealous of your holiday, a break in foodie Italy sounds wonderful.

As for book recommendations - I picked up The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern on a whim and loved it. If you don't like magic/fantasy or prefer actual reality in your reading then it may not be for you but I utterly adored it. It is one of those books that I wish I could discover for the first time all over again.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

I can relate to the "WHERE HAVE ALL THE SUMMER CLOTHES GONE? IT'S STILL AUGUST" woes. Apparently no one needs bikinis in August. Gaaaah. And don't even get me started on fitting everything (plus handbag) into one piece of hand luggage. Hopefully you'll be flying with a decent airline and won't have that problem x

Blonde said...

Sean: Oof. 37 is plenty hot enough, I think! Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Miss N: I can't wait, I tell you. Thank you v much for the book recommendation - it's definitely on the list to try out.x

PDEWYMO: Nope. We're flying with the indecent airline too, damnit. I nearly got caught by that 'handbag counts as extra' rule last time. Refused to pay up and spent ten mins crouched at the gate willing it into the suitcase. Classy.

thechickenshop said...

Oh dear, I'm horribly jealous! Hope you have a lovely time. said...

Two book recommendations I got from a very reliable source yesterday: Gold (the story of two cyclist getting to the Olympics) and Where'd Bernadette Peters go? (a coming of age novel - whatever that means).

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