Work more or less sorted, house tidied for burglars, unidentifiable items removed from back of fridge and transferred to secure waste facility, instructions printed out for blogdaughter. Can anything still get in the way of our departure?
Well, just possibly. I’m discounting Mrs. Blog’s ill-advised last minute search for our hotel on Tripadvisor. I mean, what is it with these Tripadvisor contributors? “Beware! Give this place a wide berth. The ‘locally sourced’ plantains turned out on closer investigation not to be organic — nor even Fairtrade! The hotel claims to be ‘located in a peaceful locality’ but we were horrified to witness at least two planes passing overhead on our first day, and the waves off the private beach were distinctly choppy — despite our costly room upgrade.”
No, this could have been a tad more serious. Mrs. Blog, inexplicably and — in my book — inexcusably, went down with a lurgy just days before we were due to fly, putting the imminent flight and thus the whole operation in jeopardy. Well, call me old fashioned, but if that’s not a definition of divorce on grounds of unreasonable behaviour, I don’t know what is. Probably justifiable homicide as well.
The doc pumped industrial scale pharmaceuticals into her as a matter of urgency and, according to Mrs. Blog (no witnesses have come forward) prescribed a flight upgrade for one for the outbound journey to “allow her to rest and recuperate”. Now this is not, as blogdaughter will confirm, Mrs. Blog’s first recorded attempt at securing said enhancement, but my acute cynicism was admittedly ameliorated when she decided she was too unwell to make one final pre-hols trip to M&S to “look out an emergency ‘top'”.
The flight and associated travel arrangements went off for once without me forgetting my driving licence, discovering my passport had expired or realising that I’d set off for the airport sans Mrs. Blog. But why is it that, however hard I try to play the experienced global jetsetter, I invariably find I’m passing through security with some overlooked bomb making ingredient like shaving gel concealed in my hand luggage? Mind you, Mrs. Blog did, a few years ago, discover while we were on holiday in Italy that she had unwittingly taken a set of her serious looking veterinary scalpels through the detectors without let or hindrance. Perhaps the officials assumed there would be no livestock at risk on that particular flight and decided to give her the benefit of the doubt.
As usual, on the flight, we were obliged to complete the customs form to hand in on arrival. There was one part of the form that only “head of household” needed to fill in. (That took us a while to resolve, I can tell you.) Then you had to list other family members travelling with you, and “relationship”. So, I wrote “Mrs. Blog. Wife. It’s been worse.” How should you answer the question about whether you’re bringing pharmaceuticals into the country? Looking at the age range of most of the passengers I’d be amazed if any were entirely pill free, so, if you put “No”, you were clearly seeking to deceive the uniformed chap at the airport, and if you put “Yes”, you were inviting the prospect of a long stay in a confined space. And I responded enthusiastically to “Have you ever been convicted of having taken part in, planned or conspired with others in armed rebellion or the destabilisation of a small island state?” I just wish there had been some clue to what sort of answer they were hoping for there.
We arrived safe and well at our hotel and, opening the bankroll of serious currency from Thos Cooks, tipped the guy who helped us with the bags around £20 or whatever the smallest denomination was. So we should get looked after pretty well for the rest of our stay. We always job share quite well at this point. I delegate to Mrs. Blog much of the minor stuff like working out how the safe works and how to unblock the toilet, while I make sure the complimentary rum punches find a home before the ice melts. It’s been a long day.