Words from a Bird. Day 111
So the day has finally arrived...the one where I haul my suitcase from under the bed in preparation for my mini break (this is what I call it, the husband calls it a holiday implying that I will be away longer than I actually am).
It's funny how things change as you get older. Over the years, my suitcases have ranged in size from one so large that it needed two men to get it in and out of the car and which doubled up as storage for the lawnmower in the winter, to my current one which can sometimes get confused as hand luggage.
When I was younger, I panic-packed, stuffing every piece of clothing I owned into the suitcase, along with shoes to match every conceivable outfit. There would be jackets, jeans in case it rained, jumpers in case it was cold, and probably even an umbrella. There would also be a choice of several bikinis (those were the days), four pairs of shorts (this works out at a new pair for every day which is ludicrous), dresses, skirts, trousers and tops....they all made the trip to sunnier climes with me.
This was done as I had an irrational fear of 'not having anything to wear'. Of course, we all know that there are no shops in Europe, and if you forget your toothbrush? Well, you're stuffed. This strategy of mine always resulted in returning home with a suitcase full of mainly clean, but crumpled, clothes, all of which had to be washed and ironed. Not pleasant when you're drying out, having drunk enough red wine to keep the Home Counties going for six months.
I do things differently now. I work out exactly what I am going to wear each night (huge thanks to the goddess of OCD who makes this possible for me), take one pair of neutral coloured sandals which go with anything, and keep the shorts and swimwear to a minimum (in quantity not coverage you will be relieved to hear...)
This means that I can now fit everything into my small case which is a lot easier to hoist off conveyor belts. It also means however, that there is little room for 'extras'.
These are what I call the items which you often buy on the days that the sun doesn't shine, when 'shopping' is the only alternative to a sun lounger. They usually include clothes, perfume, shoes and jewellery. Last year, I made the mistake of buying lots of 'extras' (five pairs of coloured jeans were the starting point if I remember rightly). When the day came to pack the case for home, it soon became apparent that there was no way that the zip was going to close on my small case even with the assistance of my sister and Mrs W adding some force. This called for drastic measures.
I decided that I would have to take out some of the more unnecessary stuff to get my 'extras' in. The not inadequate pile left behind in the hotel included all my underwear, a black cardigan which had seen better days, one pair of sandals, my shampoo and conditioner, two mugs and my travel kettle.
It's all about priorities, you see...