Yesterday David got all the suitcases down from the loft, so we can sort out which ones are best to take. It should be an easy choice, but there are things to consider in the decision making process:
- firstly, are our bags travel-worthy? We have had them for a while and they are looking a bit weary - zips may not stand another round the world trip
- in the UK we will be driving so size and space won't matter; however we don't want to be carting a big bag each to France for 5 days, so we need an appropriately sized travel bag each - David suggested we share a bigger bag between us on that part of the holiday, but that is a recipe for contretemps as
- his part of the suitcase gets messy very quickly and expands in size
- he therefore takes ages to find what he wants, and I have to wait (and I am not sure if you know that patience is not my long suit)
- we'll argue over who is responsible for trundling it along - he'll want to do it, and I will feel like I should share the task (I am not sure if you know that I am decidedly a feminist)
- we have things to bring to the UK for family and friends - NZ gingernuts (best in the world, like our rugby team ...), a couple of bottles of NZ Pinot Noir, a few books, some Taranaki Hardcore clothing, things from David's parents' place for the grandsons, and a few bits to be dropped off at the boat.
- and we have to fit our clothing in and we know it is unlikely to be hugely balmy weather in late September and October, but we don't want to bring too much - we always find that we wear, launder and wear the stuff on the top and bring the rest back untouched - so some discipline is required in the packing department.
- we have both bought merino long sleeved tops from the Kathmandu shop - warm, and very light to pack
- apart from that it is going to be jeans, jerseys in the main, and not many of them - I do hope that the places we are going to be staying will have laundry facilities ...
- we will be staying on a narrowboat (an airbnb venue) in London for a couple of nights and we are hiring a boat on the River Wey for a few days with the boys, and as the boaters among you know, big suitcases with rigid sides do not fit well in narrowboats.
I am off to Hokitika tomorrow for my last week there before we head away. There's a lot to do this coming week, so I won't be thinking of international travel much over the next few days.
As I have to leave home by 5am tomorrow, I will pack today. and that will involve completing the washing and ironing, as well as making a batch of scones and muffins for the guys up at the Waiuta site. I am visiting there on Tuesday and it has quickly become a tradition that I take morning tea. As my best (read easiest) baking outputs are Ministry of Food Cheese scones and Alison Holst's crunchy blueberry muffins, those are what I will bake today and pack up to be re-heated on site. Usually I bake at the DOC office in Hokitika, but I won't have time tomorrow night.
And apart from the site visit, I will be running a planning session for the next remediation project that we are getting underway at the moment. Then it's making sure I have all the back-up in place for while I am away and working remotely from the UK and France.
Next weekend, David (my trusty IT Support Manager) has to load the Parallels Desktop on my Mac and then load Microsoft Project, so I can keep the schedules updated while I am away.
OK, yes, I am going to be working while I am away on holiday, but I want to. And What's App, Skype and email work wonders for staying in touch with the team. There's a few documents to draft, and I can do them as easily in the northern hemisphere as the southern.
My biggest concern at the minute is that my left ankle is playing up - not sure what it is but it is a bit crippling temporarily when I stand or twist or step the wrong way. Have had one session at the osteopath which helped a lot, and am now replicating some of his treatment when the agony strikes. The most effective technique, and I kid you not, is for me to waggle my leg ferociously from the hip - I can hear the ankle click ...
Next appointment is already made with the osteopath as I cannot afford to be limping around on this holiday - not being able to jump from a narrowboat to bring it to a standstill will be dire! Good thing I have a lovely osteopath in London too!