On Saturday, we are off on one of our expeditions, returning on September 8th. I am of course looking forward to this as going anywhere with Tigger is bound to be fun. Unfortunately, I always feel anxious in the last few days before departure so it will be a relief to close the door for the last time and set off.
Why would I feel anxious? I am not entirely sure though there are several things that have to be taken care of such as packing, taking Freya to the cattery and making sure there is no outstanding business that needs taking care of before we go.
Taking Freya to her holiday home is a big matter for me. There are good and bad sides to it. The bad side is actually taking her and leaving her and the fact that she is understandably nervous: you cannot explain to a cat where you are taking her or why although I am sure that she must recognize the route that we take – by bus and train – and therefore guess our destination. I know she is well treated and looked after by the good people at the cattery but leaving her is always difficult. The good side is her evident joy at being back with us when we are all together again. For the first couple of days she follows us around miaowing happily and asking to be cuddled every five minutes.
Then there is the packing. You would think I would be used to this by now but I always have to think carefully what I need to take. I keep saying I will make a list but, of course, I never do. We travel fairly light – one suitcase suffices for both of us – but there are essentials to think of such as chargers for the phones and our camera batteries and – very essential – tea. On the last trip I forgot the tea. Amazing, huh? Fortunately, the hotel supplied enough given that we were out most of the day and that the local water had an unpleasant taste to it, discouraging tea drinking. This time I mean to take the tea bags that we bought at the shop of Betjeman and Barton in Paris.
Also there is nail varnish. Hitherto I have taken nail varnish with me on holiday but will not do so this time. No matter how carefully you apply it, nail varnish is bound to chip or flake sooner or later, usually after about 5 days in my case. I usually repaint my nails once a week but on holiday make do with patching the damage. As we are out and about most of the day, returning to the hotel only to sleep, finding the time to patch my nails – and let them dry – isn’t easy. Maybe the answer is to go on holiday with naked nails (sharp intake of breath).
I have always been scornful of people who have to wear a certain costume or hair-do or make-up, feeling they are not themselves without them. I think you should be able to be yourself whatever you are wearing or even stark naked. If not, then what you think you are is artificial, a mere make-believe. Yet I have to admit that if I forget to put on my rings when I go out (something that happens often enough), or if my nails aren’t up to snuff, I feel… – how shall I describe it? Slightly under par? So going on holiday with naked nails may be good for me, reminding me that it is the essentials (as provided by Mother Nature) that count and not the add-ons and accessories that we add like tinsel on the Christmas tree.
I shall miss being gawped at, though.