One must find/launder/mend/try on (and discard with disgust)/purchase summery clothes to wear. This can be a disheartening process. And an expensive one if your weight has rocketed since the last time the sun shone. You want something that allows the rays to hit your skin but without exposing fat elbows, bingo wings, blue-veined legs, puffy ankles or a wrinkly decolletage. Not easy, believe me.
One must find the sunglasses which do not gouge out holes on either side of your nose, give you a severe headache behind your ears, fall off whenever you bend down, or are so large they rest on your pudgy cheeks and fill up with sweat thus blinding you within moments of the temperature reaching above 18 degrees.
One must find the suitcase which is exactly the right size for a just-in-case packer. A just-in-case packer? Yes, one who packs everything ‘just in case…’ Well, you never know when you might need a fruit knife, an anorak, a range of pashminas, hair straighteners, 5 pairs of shoes and sandals which allow for varying degrees of swollen feet, etc etc. And you find the perfect size suitcase only to discover after filling it with freshly laundered lingerie that this was the case that the cat peed in and you never quite got rid of the smell no matter how much Febreze and bicarb of soda you sprayed into it.
One must tidy the house incase you are struck down by a dreadful illness or accident whilst away and some poor soul has to come into your house to get your jim-jams. Or in case there is a storm and the roof falls in and the congregation have to come and tidy up the debris before your return. (They’re good, like that.) This involves a deep spring clean, emptying of fridge and filing all that has been lying in wait for at least 12 months.
One must remember to change the message on the answering machine, not too soon and not too late that the taxi is tooting at the door. One knows that one can do it remotely but whoever remembers the #* instructions when you’re in the airport lounge sipping your third Margarita? Not me, that’s for sure.
Once upon a time, one must select books to take too. Thankfully, with the advent of the Kindle this is no longer a problem. But then again there is the charger to remember… oh, which reminds me – pack the phone charger too. Of course there is a period of time on the aeroplane when one must not use a Kindle so should one take a small book or crossword to while away those tense moments?
One must also see to one’s hair. This means getting rid of some and tittifying the other. In my case this meant restoring the grey and strange pink/lilac colour to its proper purpleness. Now, as yet, I had not found a hairdresser in Falkirk which stocks the best purple in the world (Elumen by Goldwell, if you’re interested) but after a bit of googling I found that there was indeed one. This also meant trusting a new hairdresser to cut one’s crowing glory which is no mean feat. (Those with curly hair will be nodding at this point, only too well that the instructions to ‘not cut too much off my fringe because it will spring up’ seems to translate into ‘let’s turn her into something from the medieval period when fringes were worn somewhere near the hairline’). However, Amber at Kharma did a jolly good job and I quite enjoyed listening to rap music at full volume whilst reading Heat magazine. Really, I did. I think the side parting and swept over one eye look was not really for me but she was so enthusiastic I didn’t want to burst her bubble. After all, these things can always be fixed with a pair of nail scissors, can’t they? (Note to self: pack nail scissors.)
There are a host of other things one must remember which I seem to have forgotten for now. Oh the cat! How could I forget the cat? She must be packed up with all her worldly goods to the dark recesses of Son’s flat in Embra. But which blanket to pack for her? The one she weaves on my bed, the hairy tartan rug on the back of the sofa, or the fake sheepskin one she has studiously ignored since I put it in the washing machine, preferring the runner at the foot of the spare bed anyway?
And in the meantime there are sermons to write, notices to dream up for 2 week’s worth of pew sheets, bills to pay, letters to post, and a couple of stone to lose. Ho hum.
If any burglars should happen to be reading this please note that (a) there is nothing worth pinching; (b) the alarm and cameras will get you; and (c) other burly son may pop in to stay!