As is customary on our holidays, the night before is a tiring and fraught experience. Who would want to spend the time relaxing or ‘chilling out’, when instead we can spend half an hour debating such thing as whether or not Mike should take one shirt or one t-shirt on holiday, (certainly not both) and another half an hour determining if one USA travel-adapter is a nano-gram lighter than another one?
I fear this sort of pre-vacation experience will follow me through life. As a child my dad would be climbing the walls the night before we went away, checking lists, then double checking and no sooner had we gone to bed and it was time to get up and depart. We usually set off at some ungodly hour in the middle of the night to ‘get through London avoiding the rush hour’ (this was pre-M25 days of course). Our destination was usually Dover, (this was also pre-Chanel Tunnel days). So a nocturnal whiz through central London was en-route. In the 1970s nobody batted an eyelid at taking your eight-year old on holiday in the boot of a Maxi – social services would be calling round now. This wasn’t of course me in a dark hole like some kind of kidnap victim, but rather with the boot shelf removed and the space kitted out as a little den complete with pillows, blankets and books. From my ‘boot den’ the illuminated landmarks of London flew past – Wellington Arch, Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament. Everyone else was usually asleep apart from my dad who was driving, and the streets were pretty deserted – so London seemed like it was all mine! Alas, no nocturnal sights of the capital for us tomorrow – just an early bus ride in Reading, ho-hum.