This weekend I have been mostly washing clothes, putting them on the line then running outside to rescue them from the downpour which has appeared out of the ether. I am ironing, folding and stacking. Woe betide anyone who wears anything this week that’s just been laundered and then wafts it in my face on Friday declaring it needs washing again because they can’t survive two weeks without it.
Yes, we are off on holiday on Saturday, on a let’s-pretend-we’re-camping-but-not-really-as-it’s-a-static-caravan-with-all-mod-cons fortnight. Our Keycamp break was booked long before we were offered a freebie stay with Eurocamp so I do feel a sense of deja vu. However I am now very well prepared. I know, with some sadness, that I will have no need for high heels and smart frocks but, with a whole SUV available at my disposal and no luggage weight limits to restrict me, I am constantly sneaking in extra unnecessary clothing just in case. Just in case? Well, just in case we decide after a few days to transfer to a local chateau which has been lovingly restored into a 5 star bijou boutique hotel…..
Oh was I dreaming? Silly me. Where was I? Packing. We’ve decided to make things as comfortable as possible so, along with our own pillows and duvets, we are even packing mattress protectors. If I’m sleeping for 14 nights on a cheap bed, without the luxury of our astronaut-tested memory foam mattress, I am determined to make it as near to an at-home experience as possible, me being such a Princess/Pea kind of girl. Must also find a cotton throw to artfully drape over the sofa which, if it’s anything like the one we sat on in June, was made of a wipe-clean material: practical but not aesthetically pleasing or comfortable on sunburnt limbs.
Dougie is doing his usual. Organising to an inch of his life. You should see his first aid kit. I know, he’s a doctor so it goes with the territory but it’s really rather fascinating to see what’s in his click n’ lock plastic boxes: if I’m struck down with a headache with associated rash, sneezing and alternating diarrhoea and constipation then I’m in safe hands.
Husband is also a “packer”. I will plonk a pile of seemingly folded garments in the spare room and they will be re-folded ‘properly’ and tucked into the tiniest of spaces in the case (for ‘case’, read: huge zippy tough bag). One year my stack of undies was re-packed that many times to fit into just the right gap that unfortunately it was accidently left out altogether (‘was this a ploy?’ I asked myself before having to go commando until the shops opened).
He has already sorted the car, checked the tyres, oil and screen wash. Apparently I don’t use much screen wash which baffles him as he is a constant squirter…(“How on earth do you see through the window, woman?” )It seems to have escaped his notice that I will be driving the car all this week so he will probably have to check it all again before we leave.
Meanwhile I’m reading guide books. I immerse myself in the culture of our destination, well aware that having a sporty husband who will want to leap about on knackered knees playing volleyball and a lazy teenage son who will be unable to surface before midday, will limit our time for exploration. Who needs prehistoric etchings in spooky caves when you can win medals and sugary cocktails playing crazy golf?
I have to remember that this Summer we chose a ‘camping’ holiday to provide some teenage fun for our son. We have paid up front for 10 days limitless PGL activity (abseiling, archery and zip wires) which was a total waste of money as I know he will just want to find some like-minded fringe-flipping loafers to mooch about with while eyeing up the French totty.
We have also decided, en famille, to go without laptops for the holiday. Both my son and I are glued to them at present and it’s driving Dougie insane. So we will do without. On our Eurocamp holiday, after a day or two, the cold turkey approach seemed to work and we adjusted well to a life without Twitter and Facebook. Mindful of the fact that Rory was struck dumb by the absence of a TV in the mobile home when normally on holiday he is happily watching the Italian version of Deal or No Deal within five minutes of sticking the keycard in the door, I have managed to find a space for the portabe DVD player and a stack of comedy DVDs – a good dose of Ross Noble will keep us all cheery.
I’m not going to blog. I will do what I used to do: write my observations in a book, with a pen, then type them up on our return. I will sit on the decking, with a glass of vin rouge, or rose, or blanc and let the boys do their thing. We will re-group at meal times when I will be on salad duties, husband will baste and poke the meat and the coals, and Number One Son will turn up when all the work is done, eager to be fed.
Bring it on!