‘Have you got everything? Revision? iPod? Swimming Trunks?’
‘Have you packed your chargers? Tennis racquets?’
As usual on the day we go away I am standing in the hall shouting at everyone to make sure that they don’t forget the one essential item that they cannot live without for a few days.
I have been mentally running through lists for three days, checked in to Ocado three times to make sure our food delivery includes Easter Eggs and a ton of carbohydrates for Son 1 and Son 2. A short Easter break, but I might as well be planning a trip to Madagascar. It will be my birthday while we are away and I have added a few little luxuries to my own bag – a nice bubble bath, a new top to wear on my birthday and a trashy magazine.
Last Easter, my Good Friday was spent running around Heathrow trying to get on a flight to Costa Rica as I had rendered myself unable to board the plane with the rest of my family. This Easter would be different. We are having a Staycation and staying at Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds for a few days R&R. What could possibly go wrong?
The BBC advise avoiding travel between 10am and 2pm and so we cleverly hit the road at 10.05am. A beautiful sunny day, but we spent it on the M4, in long tailbacks of traffic that seem to start and finish for no reason. The journey should take less than 2 hours, but 4.5 hours later, and after a toilet stop and an expensive M&S Food shop we are finally unloading.
Early evening and I announce that I am popping upstairs to unpack…a slightly uneasy look comes over my husband’s face. That’s strange….
I trot upstairs and as I walk in the bedroom I see his bag….just his bag, and I realise why he had an uneasy look. It seems that while I was busy running around the house making sure everyone had everything, my bag was sitting quietly in the bedroom being ignored. I have nothing with me.
Strangely this feels as big a disaster as the missed flight to Costa Rica – maybe it’s that horrible feeling that while I was looking out for everyone else, no one was looking out for me. Anyway, I am upset.
I genuinely never thought I would say this out loud, but thank God for 24 hour Tesco. By 8pm Good Friday I am sporting a new, slightly grim outfit in colours that I would never usually wear and have furnished myself with underwear, toiletries and make-up.
And the lesson learned? I can fit everything I need into two small plastic carrier bags!