Tomorrow we go on holiday. Our first proper holiday for a long, long time. I should be wildly enthusiastic and champing at the bit to get away. However, there is a small issue that stands between me and that holiday feeling. Packing.
I have written a list of everything we need. Not just on a scrap of paper you understand, but in a shiny new duck egg blue notebook which I got free in a magazine. I started the list a while ago and add to it whenever I think of something else that is absolutely vital. The way the list currently stands, we are going to need a our very own personal ferry to cart all our crap to France. It's not like we're going to Mongolia, Sudan or the Amazon. We don't need survival gear. As far as I know France is a first world country. Yet I still feel compelled to take everything we own on the off chance we might need it.
I would start to rationalise and make cuts to the list, but I know that the minute I delete an item, it'll be that very item which becomes the holiday 'must have'. And as the mother, it will be my fault that it's not there.
I am way too weary to start packing now. But I feel I have done good prep work. Besides my trusty list, I've done copious amounts of laundry (all of which was wet through thanks to the sodding rain), and have attempted to dry most of it. I've done my ironing (first time in two months). I've charged the camera batteries. I've ordered and received our European Health Cards. I've got foreign currency and travel insurance. I've bought an in-car DVD player and new DVDs to entertain the kids. And I've remembered to add travel sick pills to my list. I've still got to buy food supplies and I've yet to get a pedicure or tummy tuck, but I don't think I'm going to manage to squeeze those in between now and tomorrow evening.
So I'm pretty well organised. I just can't be arsed to actually get all the stuff and shove it into bags. Also, much of it needs to be packed directly from the garage into the boot of the car. And packing the car is husband's job. In fact it is any man's job. They have to have this job for two reasons:
Firstly, they don't do anything else related to the holiday besides throw a few pairs of undies and a couple of shirts in a bag for themselves. They don't have to book accomodation or make travel arrangements. They don't have to work out dates that suit everybody. They don't have to make lists of what to pack. They don't need to pack enough clothes for children that will cover 5 peed in pants a day, rain, mud, sunshine or a potential blizzard and still get it into a teeny tiny bag. They don't have to come up with a cunning packing plan that ensures you have a bag with enough snacks, drinks, changes of clothes, nappies, toys, books, medicine and baby wipes for every leg of the journey. They don't need to do any of the above really. They simply have to arrive at the alloted departure time with their own bag of kit and a mutter about 'all this crap' that they have to heave into the car.
Secondly, men like packing car boots. They find it cathartic. It reminds them of the days when they were small boys and got to build towers out of wooden blocks and had to make sure they had just the right piece to fit into just the right hole. I'll readily admit that I am rubbish at packing cars. Men excel at it. That is until you have to open the boot and get the one thing you forgot to pack in the emergency day sack (like moo moo the toy cow), which results in much swearing, rolling of eyes, sighing and tutting as though they are thoroughly exhausted with having to do all this holiday malarkey and must their darned wife try their patience now?
So no, I'm not feeling thrilled at the prospect of going on holiday right this minute. I'm sure that once the car is packed, we've survived the overnight ferry crossing, the five hour car drive, found our destination, managed to cobble together a meal for starving children on the remaining car snacks, and I can sit down and enjoy a glass - make that a bottle - of French wine, I will be very happy to be away. But until then, I've got a bit of work to do.
So blog readers, I shall not be blogging until my return, no doubt armed with tales of how thanks to my perfect packing skills, the holiday was a dream (except for the part where I have to drive two boys across France on my own on the return as husband's leaving early to get back to work. Goody).
I do hope that it stops raining at some point otherwise we could well be returning to a flooded house, which might negate the relaxation afforded by the holiday.
Do wish me Bonne Chance!