So we’re off. Mum and I are heading off to Europe today in the car. In preparation last night we drank a lovely bottle of wine and toasted the next few weeks of driving, travelling and “mindfulness” Yes the buzz word for the middle aged crisis sufferers the world over of which I am one. Obviously. Mum is neither middle-aged nor neurotic so that must have come from my Fathers side of the family. The mad, hairy, ones. Ah yes there’s the clue. Still back to the trip.
The first hurdle in leaving is pictured here. The dog.
Nellie the lurcher. She got a bit twitchy when she saw Mum pack her bags and spent last night pacing the flat then when we got up this morning she was glued to Mums bags displaying her doleful eye.
I took a different approach as my dogs are 15 and 13 respectively if I had said goodbye to them it would have taken 2 hours and involved a lot of wailing and snottering so I gave them a biscuit a cursory scratch on the head and they walked off rewarding me with a lazy wag.
As they disappeared off into a bushI ran in and gathered the next armful of extraneous goods to stuff into the boot before leaving the flat for the last time tears threatening.
For those considering taking a car. First revelation.
Travelling across Europe by car is a joy. No one to winge about the size of your cases or the number you have of them. So we have spread out…..there’s just us and over the boot and back seats we have:
- The Library; Selection of books to read on the road. Travel books, thrillers, sci-fi-romance, history it’s all in there. NO WE DON’T HAVE A KINDLE and NOW WE DONT WANT ONE.
- The larder. Food for stuffing into the face in times of desperation which we plundered on day 1 more details to follow…..
- The digital radio – yes I must have @BBC6music at all times when in transit
- The footwear. Shoes, flip flops, trainers, wellies, boots, flippers.
- The rumbley rolls of clothing. Warm stuff, sandy, old summer stuff, winter stuff, spring and Autumn stuff – fully prepared for all eventualities.
- The drugs. Not illegal ones but the ones you end up accumulating. Ibuprofen, aspirin, paracetamol, a couple of back supports as my back as been chronic recently, vitamins, Nytol for the insomnia and then Mums array of stuff for blood pressure. I wonder when you see Posh Spice (Yes I still call her that) swashbuckling through Heathrow with all her bags if they are filled with Berocca and painkillers in case of a cracking hangover after a wild night out with Gordon Ramsay and his wife Tana.
But seriously to the untrained health freak we probably look like a couple of dealers. There are a serious number of bottles with pills in them in the boot. I hope we don’t get stopped at customs.
- Shampoo. I ordered it twice by mistake on Amazon and thus have 12 bottles of shampoo in the car which we can sell if we run out of money, or petrol, or the will to carry them round Europe.
- Lotions and Potions required for maintenance. This is a biggie.
You know the sort of things Cleanser. Moisturise, Veet, conditioner, body moisturiser, deodorant, anti-pespirant, perfume, my make – up which we did consider putting in a separate trailer. Mums make up – pictured. Is slightly less high maintenance.
Laptop. Phone. Chargers. Camera. Batteries.
Vital equipment: Maps. Addresses of where we are going. Instruction on how to use the Sat Nav.
By now there is barely enough room for Mum and I.
If it doesn’t just burst I will report back tomorrow…..
Hasta La Manana