Monday, 13 October 2014


It’s half past eight here on a grey and chilly, October morning in Manchester, and I’m up to my neck in it, as usual.
A little over 48 hours from now, we shoot off down to Manchester Airport, hop on a Boeing 7-something-7 for a five-hour flight to Cyprus and some much needed sunshine and downtime.

(The picture, by the way, is not Manchester airport. It’s one I took at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, but it’s only clear photograph of an aeroplane I have, so you’ll have to make do.)
For most people, the thought of getting away for a week fills them with heady excitement. But most people don’t live in our house. Most people don’t have to contend with Her Indoors packing suitcases.
We all know that airlines have weight limits for your baggage. When The Empress has done packing we need a low-loader to shift the casers to the airport and a 747 cargo plane to carry them. Inevitably, then, we need to pack and repack and double repack until we get somewhere near the 20-kilo limit.
And it annoys the hell out of me. I went to Filey for a holiday with an Asda carrier bag which held a pair of clean socks, a pair of clean Y-fronts, and the latest James Bond. What more did I need, aside from open pubs?
And I’m the same when I go abroad. We have a tiny case, one which would pass muster as cabin baggage. It’s big enough for me. When it comes to the missus, a pantechnicon (that’s a posh word for a furniture van) isn’t big enough.
Why does she need a dozen dresses? We’re only going for seven days, and the kind of bars willing to serve me don’t care how you’re dressed as long as you are actually dressed. And some of them don’t stop to worry about that, provided you can still get to your wallet.
What is the point of carrying three swimming costumes and a bikini only to cover everything up with a knee-length wrap because she’s worried everyone will think she’s too old to be showing all that flesh.
Why does anyone need three pairs of sunglasses? You can only wear one at a time. She carries more T-shirts than Primark on sale week, and I daren’t go into the number of pairs of knickers she takes with her. (I daren’t go into them metaphorically or physically. I have a bad enough reputation as it is.)
Still and all, we’ve managed to get the job done and it only remains for me to get the dog to the boarding kennels, ensure all the electrical gubbins are fully charged, then clear off to the Mediterranean sun for a week.
Naturally, it doesn’t end there. Just as I’m coming to terms with the outrageous cost of this jaunt, Her Indoors comes up with fresh demands, as a result of which we’re going to Whitby for a few days after Christmas.

In terms of understatement, describing Whitby in December as cold is like describing the Canary Islands in August as a bit warm. But will that stop Her Indoors packing the swimming cozzies, the bikini and the sunshades? Will it hell as like. And this time, there’ll be countless thermal undies and a full range of overcoats. And even though we’re only going for a few days, the bus driver will get a hernia lifting the case into the luggage compartment.

There won’t be a Monday blog next week. I shall be sitting on a beach thinking about how we’re gonna get the cases under weight for the return journey. So while I’m gone, be good. If you can’t be good, be careful. If you can’t be careful, try undersealing the car instead.


Lesley Cookman said...

Try and enjoy it anyway!

Carol Hedges said...

Hahaha ... chortle. Typical BLOKE!!! of course we Carols need our stuff. In large amounts. So that we can look beautiful for you lot!!! Consider yourself lucky. Daughter had simiiar problem while working for SOCA in Afghanistan. LOVES her shoes, but the UN plane from Dubai to Kabul only took minimal luggage. It is a testimony to her charm and blagging skills that she always managed to land at Kabul airport with a full case of Jimmy Choos!