DEAR Diary: Embarking on a ‘pilgrimage’ tour with a group of mainly 70 and 80 somethings, is somewhat like having your first baby. It seems like a great idea at the time but in retrospect one wonders how one plunges into these things with blithe expectation that, while not plain sailing, it will work out somehow.
First, what do I need to take? The list seems extremely long and inadequate, until I remember the adage: Take half the luggage and twice the money. This works well for me as I remove clothes designed for cold weather wear, with thoughts of shopping.
Unfortunately I can’t afford the Shops-Elysees or Rue Faubourg Saint-Honore. Besides I like to be comfortable and vibrant while travelling and I don’t remember them having much neon lycra in their windows.
Then I wonder what the standard of accommodation will be?
Musings while packing
Apart from the usual accoutrements like hot water, comfortable bed, clean sheets and towels, I hope accommodation will have tea and coffee making facilities although this can be problematic.
I wonder what goes through the mind of the person who purchases the electric jug for rooms to ensure that the jug will either not fit under the tap in the hand basin or if it does fit, empties once removed from under the spigot? They must take exact measurements and only purchase jugs with the dimensions to thwart every effort for a cuppa.
(In fact we find that in Europe tea and coffee making are not part of the room appointment, necessitating a trip downstairs to the bar. There were trade-offs for this inconvenience including being served by a dashing, perhaps even brooding Bruno, Antonio or Francois in a tight waistcoat and the fact that one was always aware of the exact times for Happy Hour.)
I really hope that the rooms will have hairdryers with long enough cords to be able to blast into the wardrobe to help dry my smalls (read larges) once lovingly hand washed in the basin.
Which brings me to the plugs. I guess these are intentionally non-functioning so that smalls (larges) will not be rinsed in the room and therefore necessitate the use of the expensive laundry service. I had better pack a small and large sized plug to suit all occasions. I wonder if they fit bidets?
A separate shower would be good. Getting too old to straddle into a bath and risk my virtue if I slip. Also shower curtains are not my favourite thing. Not one for conspiracy theories but it seems to me that all shower curtain manufacturers must conspire to impregnate the material with a sticky substance that clings only to wet human flesh gradually constricting to engulf the body (and with my surface area that’s a real worry).
For those that don’t believe, perhaps this is really how the Shroud was created?
With my new found social networking skills, I hope that stable wifi is available that doesn’t require complex and meaningless logins and passwords entered every five minutes.
I can’t wait to meet the tour group members and start what is possibly my last trip overseas.
By Mavis Davis