Are you as impatient as I am?
“Patience: A minor form of despair disguised as a virtue.” Ambrose Bierce
It’s 4 days, 2 hours, 26 minutes, 46 seconds – at the time of writing – before we take off for India and commence our lap of the globe. A moment to blog about the state of preparedness we find ourselves in here at mission control. (I was going to go all NASA on you and say “T minus 4 days…” but I got side tracked and looked up the meaning of that phrase: is it “time to launch” or T as in Test commencement minus time prior to launch and then T plus afterwards? The web fails to agree. Sheesh. Luckily it’s irrelevant.)
We’re packed. No really, we are. If the taxi honked it’s horn outside now, we could be in it within 5 minutes. Ish. Since we are practicing the “if you can’t carry it, it ain’t coming” rule the task becomes pretty simple. Do you need it? Y/N. Could you buy one locally? Y/N (Dammit, someone should post a handy flowchart.) Okay, okay, simple as long as one is prepared to be fairly ruthless and get-over-oneself. And by-the-cringe Mrs B – aka the Gruppenführer – has taken this ethos to heart. You know those clothes that really aren’t getting the wear their makers intended? Well, they have been recycled by dint of being in the vicinity of travel attire. Bags and bags to the charity shop and/or clothing bank with gusto. Having a proper clean-out we are. Rather cathartic actually. Technology is helping too: A Kindle and Kobo – his and hers electronic books or eReaders since you asked at the back there – are a great help. Whole libraries find their way onto a device as big as a sheet of A5 paper and lighter than the average mobile phone. Clever. When you are visiting as many places as we are, a pack horse would be required for the guide books alone. On the debit side, technology requires batteries, leads, plugs and the like. So we are starting to look a little like a looted Maplins accessories stand.
We’ve been to the surgery. Been stabbed by the nurse in the name of OWwww! In the name of inoculation? Check. Corresponded with the embassies? Check. (Indian visa applications are a Weston-Super-‘MARE by the way.) Seen our (excellent NHS) dentist – en famille, a novel afternoon out. Told our credit card providers of our plans? Check. Bills are on DD. We have our house sitters lined up. (If any of the criminal underworld are reading, I should point out that the tactical nuclear tipped missiles we have equipped our house sitter with are a mere courtesy should you decide to pay a visit. He’s got his finger on the trigger and is 5-espressos-this-morning jumpy. The moat is filled with sharks with frickin’ lasers on their heads, the burglar sensing crossbows are primed etcetera.)
There’s a briefing list for all our particulars with next of kin, neighbours. The bottle of own-brand sherry has been pencil marked in case those entrusted with keys pop in for a surreptitious swig. (You know who you are.)
We find ourselves whispering about our travels in front of the cat. In point of fact, I actually checked the room before starting to type in case she gets wind of our plans. Although, the mere presence of luggage seems to trigger “stealth/hide in cupboard” mode. (The other three feline modes are, miaowing for food, lounging around and crash out (with snoring)). She’s highly suspicious and appears to be fattening herself up for the long haul. (However, that may be coincidence as catching sight of my own physique in the mirror would suggest I am following suit.) Anyhoo, cat and house-sitter are best of friends which takes loads off the mind of our dear Gruppenführer. (If you promise faithfully not to let slip to the feline, the instruction is if anything befalls Millie, we are not to be told. Miaow.)
Three. Months. Off. All sorted. Really quite difficult to feign interest in corporate life with only 2 days to go.
Coursework prepared, books to be read, primary schools lined up for visiting. Although, let’s face it, the whole thing is going to be a learning experience for J&M and my mission is to germinate the seed of curiosity.
“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” Einstein
It has been fascinating to have people ask what we will be doing to catch up on the schooling front. What’s the main thing here? I should think we are resetting the boundaries of their operating systems beyond that of the national curriculum. (If we aren’t we’re doing it wrong.) J&M are not the property of the British school system.
So as we empty the fridge and freezer – food combinations are getting more and more left-field come meal time – , accept the wonderfully generous hospitality of friends and neighbours, put things in boxes, tidy stuff away, say cheerio and answer travel questions the time for finger drumming is upon us. If you have ever performed – acted/musician – or competed in a sporting event you’ll know where I’m coming from. You are ready to do the gig and there’s nothing left to prepare. So you drum fingers, pace around or – if you’re me – write random blogs in an impatient fashion. Thank heavens for the web. Remind what we used to do when we were at a loose end BG*?
Where are we? Ahhhh, 4 days, 1 hour, 31 minutes, 57 seconds to go. Almost an hour closer. And to think, the original flight was 24hours later…
Pop quiz: What is YOUR last minute panic when you go off on an adventure? (Do share, we’d hate to miss out on the opportunity for a good old fashioned fret through ignorance.)
Now where is that bottle of sherry? I feel a bout of minor despair coming on….