Being Catherine De Nerve

Posted in Travel

Being Catherine De Nerve

"Work is a sideline - Live the holiday

I’ll probably never see the Voyager blast off into space, but, it’s like Cape Canaveral in this house as we start the countdown to lift-off on Tuesday.

Old habits die hard.   When I was growing up there were certain things that had to be done before going on a journey.

  1. The List was drawn up, of things to pack, things to do and things to arrange. This was meticulously followed to the letter.
  2. The house had to be spring cleaned, cupboards repacked and tidied
  3. Wills drawn up or updated.
  4. An official letter was drafted and sent to all and sundry to inform them of the forthcoming event.
  5. The doctor and dentist had to be visited
  6. Grooming was very important
  7. Shopping for new underwear, shoes, gifts and stationery had to be bought (the bread and butter letter)
  8. The motorcar had to be serviced
  9. A farewell dinner party had to be held, cocktails on the lawn followed by a full-on dinner party, full medals and swords too.
  10. Inventory of jewellery and family silver had to be made and carted off to the bank for safekeeping.
  11. The bank
  12. The pre-holiday photograph -everyone's uptight and sullen, the parents aren't talking the kids have been warned to belt up, this isn't the time for funny buggers.

In keeping with tradition I’ve done:

  1. No list – flying by the seat of my pants
  2. Cleaned the house, vacuumed and dusted
  3. No Will – going the S.K.I.N route
  4. Dr and dentist – saw dentist in May before going to Botswana, he said I have the teeth of a horse
  5. Went shopping for the new underwear – sizes have increased, came home depressed
  6. Last time I asked my Precious to put my jewellery in his strong room at work I found my Granny’s typewriter case (that’s my jewellery box) sitting forlornly on a chair in his office, when I asked what’s that doing there he didn’t even know it existed or what it was. So much for caring about my family jewels! Now I just wear it all, if you’ve got it flaunt it!
  7. Have had the manicure, pedicure, pluck, wax and eyebrows shaped.
  8. Tomorrow I get the grey right out of my hair
  9. Packed – done and dusted, Monday I’ll start repacking. I’ve taken the bathroom scale out of storage, replaced the battery and dusted it off.
  10. No chance of a dinner party we’re happy to get sloshed on our own. But we’ve been invited to a dinner party on Monday evening.
  11. Everyone knows/will know that we’re on holiday; Social Media takes care of that and I’m going to Blog about it!
  12. The bank doesn’t want to see me, thank goodness.
  13. My cupboards haven’t been repacked, but, the linen cupboard is perfect.
  14. All my Apps are installed and I already have a minute by minute account of the weather conditions. iPod ready.
  15. Every charger and accessory is accounted for, the laptop, tablet, GoPro; smart phone has been de-bugged and cleaned up ready to go. Camera ready, CHARGER packed and memory cards cleared, I still have to clear the hard-drive for photo storage.
  16. Never done it before but we'll do a long-arm selfie.

My Mom insisted that no matter where we went in a motor car or other mode of transport (I went to boarding school by train) we had to bath, wash behind our ears, my hair had to be washed and I had to sit in the sun to dry it, this was before the hairdryer was a common appliance, I had to brush it briskly 100 times and then it had to have a plait and my fringe was trimmed.   Our shoes had to have a military shine to them.   My dad clipped our nails; this was an ordeal as he believed in really, really short nails.   I suffered from “catarrh” so I had to blow my nose “properly” too.   At ten minutes before departure we all had to use the bathroom.

As Billy Connelly remarked, has the state of someone’s underwear after an accident ever been taken into account?   I wonder why we had to use the bathroom as a matter of urgency if our bladders were never taken into account on the 8 hour journey, as there was no stopping, no eating, no fighting and certainly no complaining once we hit the road! If God forbid, we did have an altercation in the back seat we were smartly side-swiped twice, backhand and forehand.   I’m sure if we had been involved in a motorcar accident (thank God we didn’t) the headlines would’ve read “Five Knights Burst Bladders”. No-one would’ve said a word about the state of our underwear!

This saga will continue as the story unfolds.