This week, the ever-optimistic Ms Dawes thinks she’s mastered the art of packing light. Good luck with that, Liz….
Regular readers will of course be aware that I am, to say the least, peeved at my choice of staycations (what was I THINKING?) - and so, I sneaked on t’Interweb and booked a very short break in the sun. Of course, the great ball of fire has IMMEDIATELY appeared over London, but nonetheless I’ll enjoy the rare, child-free days during which I shall do little more than read, sunbathe and drink. Packing? No problem. If I’m really efficient I might even get away with hand luggage.
As we speak, the wheelie-case and I are engaged in a silent standoff of mutual resentment. Not just overstuffed, it’s now – quite frankly – the size of a small bungalow. How did this happen? I wail. It doesn’t reply. I think back…
First up, swim wear. I have a bikini. Given I couldn’t care less what anyone thinks, I’ll likely wear it so in it goes. As a back-up plan, the one-piece goes in too. Flip flops, sun cream, beach towel, shades and hat are all non-negotiable, as is last year’s Croatia sarong. A Kindle means many books without bulk, which is a blessing since I also need a beach bag and one of those short floaty kaftans in case I decide to eat lunch by the pool and can’t be bothered to change.
Compulsory shorts and t-shirts mean a variety of anti-VPL undies and different colour bras. I throw in a cardigan or two in case it’s chilly, and some shoes I can actually walk in. My faithful old pashmina has been keeping me warm on planes and evening beach strolls since the 80s, so it goes in as well.
If I could only stop there, the situation might just be rescued – but what about eating out? That means a couple of dresses, which all need the right shoes. And jewellery. And handbags. Naturally.
Meanwhile, even though I’ve been strict to the point of Spartan with the toiletries, there appears to be a boudoir of lotions and potions to pack. Shower gel, shampoo and body lotion are a given, but then there’s the holiday-specific requirements: Aloe gel in case I burn, lavender oil for insect bites and super hydrating moisturiser. Exfoliator for peely skin and plasters for new-shoe blisters. Then there’s primer and bronzer and lipstick and mascara (my new electric blue mascara to be precise, which is AWESOME) and – most important of all - my hairbrush and straighteners. By the time I’ve got to scarves, phone chargers, travel plugs and contact lenses, I’m counting the pockets in my jacket and considering stuffing them in my pants. How does ANYONE get this right?
Logical brain, Dawes, logical brain. It’s a 4-night break, during which habitual sleep deprivation will most likely determine how most of my time is spent anyway. How many cerise t-shirts does one girl need? Out it comes and I start over, fixing the case with my steeliest gaze.
The mint-green platform wedges can stay… right?