I didn’t abuse Xanax for a start. Well only on day 1 and day 2 so I could get to sleep but after that only 0.5 at night. Amazing given the record for every other holiday for the past two years. I am 54 and I seem to have cracked holiday planning a bit.
I decided what I wanted to do before I left. That sounds so sensible, but it is in fact quite hard to do as I have usually been working till the last minute and then just loaded myself and my people on the plane. This time I worked out what period of history we were going to investigate. I can be a bit over-ambitious with this and one year tried to do the Vikings through to Victorian times in a week, but it was too much so we stopped in the middle ages. As you do. I NEARLY changed my plan when a friend told me she was “doing” the Vikings at a reconstruction village in York. I just managed to rein myself in, as York is quite far from Surrey and I didn’t have a car. I had a firm word with myself and stuck with the Tudors. We had watched Wolf Hall, “done” the Protestant Reformation, listened to the BBC History Series on Henry Tudor and his Six Wives. This latter took us, very neatly, on a 8-hour car journey to northern Tanzania for easter. We were well prepared. I booked The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, The Globe Theatre and The Railway Children. The latter nothing to do with the Tudors obviously. We did Shakespeare on the plane and when we landed as the children’s box set of his 10 most famous works was waiting for us at my father’s. I felt really rather holy when I got on the plane frankly. TT and I were to have 10 days without hubs. Always best to have time alone in the UK if I am being honest, which I am now I am peri-menopausal – I just can’t help it any more. The words just pop out.
He was going to come for a week during which time we would go to Cambridge for a sleepover in a lovely hotel overlooking the river…..can’t remember the name of the river or the hotel but anyway. The hotel was also booked by me from Dar es Salaam. OMG.
I don’t know if anyone read my previous blog post about holiday management, but after Christmas, I can only say that things could ONLY improve and they did. All at my instigation, no point being a moany minnie. Love that expression. No day was unplanned, there was no margin for error, especially when hubs arrived. I had sorted his days out, so he didn’t give me grief and made sure he played golf with his friends and spent quality time with his children 121 going to carefully planned events so that he didn’t give them grief either. TT had to have quality time with each of her two grandparents and see her cousins and the new baby. The planning frenzy was such that I was bringing forward family members like files, much as I used to do at work and it flowed marvellously. I also made sure that I saw my three most important friends. ALL dates planned before leaving Tanzania. I can’t stop writing that. ALL dates planned before leaving Tanzania. Food delivery number one bought before leaving Tanzania.
I didn’t book anything too early in the mornings. That was a first for me. We had pyjama mornings and two pyjama days. Marvellous. That meant that finally I was following more along the lines of my 89 year old father’s schedule, which was much more enjoyable for him. I didn’t cram things in, till I wanted to cry and run away. Even then I made sure I had planned the food, WHO we were eating with and WHAT we were eating. That way no body ended up fucking hungry or snackless or thirsty at just the wrong moment. I am completely in love with Sainsburys on line shopping service. My first food order arrived an hour after I did in the UK. Isn’t that fantastic? It continued to arrive every 3 days after that, culminating in the final order of 20 pieces of cheese to bring back to Tanzania. Organic goats cheese obviously. I also love M&S as they have those darling little food shops at the railway station where you can “top up” on for example, nectarine punnets – to last till the following day when the next food order with another 30 nectarines would arrive. I do love the word punnets. It sounds so summery doesn’t it?
So all in all, happy times.
I have to confess I was a tiny bit tired when I got back from the UK, with all these detailed “mil ops, military operations.” I did need another little, tiny holiday all on my own such as a day in bed with a tiny little DVD series. Perhaps a light spot of the East African rift valley or Andrew Marr’s History of the World.
It was not quite to be though, as we were heading off for a 7 day trek in the Ngorogoro Conservation Area TWO days after we got back to Tanzania. My planning clearly failed spectacularly BUT this time it was NOT my fault. I had not overplanned. I had to fit in with my step-daughter’s schedule.
So… now dear readers, think; camping kit for four people, think cold weather, think even colder weather, think one cut foot, think dressings and stitches. Think; far away from medical facilities so medicine bag preparation for maybe; malaria X 4, maybe dysentary X 4, maybe strep throat or ear or eye infection X 4 and certainly blisters X 48. I was ready. My medical bag is a marvel, even though I do say it myself. It weighs more than any other single item I ever pack. I had prepared it for the UK so I just needed to top up on the blister packs and double my rations so we could all have malaria at the same time or at the very least I could test us all for it several times if necessary. Surrey isn’t really that life threatening, well only to your credit card, which is a different kind of threat.
More on the trekking trip anon, as I now have to dash to the hair dresser and get my hair repaired. I have just had a 24 hour ginger period. I hope to write to you all again as the blonde I should be.