I am a great believer in setting priorities. I would go as far as to say that I am renowned for it. It's just that my priorities don't always align with those of other people.
Take my holiday packing, for example. As regular readers will know, tomorrow I am flying off to Alicante to join the Middle of the Darling Daughters, her fella, the Rampaging Rascal and The Twinkles on their holiday. Apparently the thermometer is touching
28 degrees out there, the sand is golden, the sea inviting and the Rampaging Rascal is in Fine Form. The M of the DDs texted me to say that there would be "pressure" for me when I arrive. Her next text, seconds later, corrected any misunderstandings: " pressie,
not pressure!" it read.
My daughter has advised me to travel light, taking only hand luggage. There is no need for me to pack toiletries, sun cream or other holiday necessities as she will have packed for
us all. "Just pack your tooth-brush," she exhorts me. Furthermore, there is a washing machine in our holiday villa and, with three tots in tow, she is washing every single day - so I don't need too many clothes. We will not be eating out in glitzy places,
so I need not worry about fancy attire. All this suits me just fine. Grand-daughter Hazel has loaned me her small, bright pink suitcase. Not only will I be Perfectly Packed, everyone will see me coming.
I understand that wifi connection is patchy in Alicante to say the least so it may be that the Daily Blog will fall silent for the next few days. I have, however, in response to many requests, asked Young Faris - Blogger Extraordinaire - to keep a holiday
diary to document our adventures while we are away. These adventures will make it into the Daily Blog as and when and where normal internet service is resumed. It will give you all something to look forward to.
back to the packing. Faris's mum is keen that her small son gains maximum pleasure from the golden sands of Alicante but there isn't really room in her luggage - including as it does, three car seats and a double buggy - for buckets and spades. I offer to
pack a few of my plastic sand moulds. I have seven of these: a starfish, a turtle, a snail, an elephant, a rabbit, a crab and a fish. I pack them all carefully at the bottom of Hazel's pink suitcase, before I put anything else in. Obviously if I don't now
have enough room for everything, I shall have to leave out a pair of cropped trousers and my spare swim-suit. This is what is called prioritisation.
It is exactly the same when I am preparing for small visitors.
My daughters will tell the story of how, when offering to lend a hand with preparations, they will be asked to dress the Giant Penguin or to re-arrange the furniture in the dolls house or check on the plastic saucepans and frying pans for use on the top of
the toy oven. Priorities, don't you see?
It has been a day of washing, ironing and re-ordering my handbag to remove everything I won't need on holiday. Mr B goes through our flight bag to find my passport,
health card and some Euros left over from our last holiday. I check in on-line and find I have been allocated a window seat. How easy is this? I marvel to Mr B. Why have we never done this before?
a short break to visit our friends' garden which, along with nineteen others in their village, is open to the public this afternoon, raising money for the local children's hospice. It makes us remember all that was best about village life in those sunny, far-off
days when our children were growing up. Ted and Margaret's garden is very beautiful. We buy coffee and cake - carrot cake for me, date and walnut for Mr B and we meet our friends' daughter, who has been called in for washing up duty. She clearly knows where
her priorities lie.
I'm making Mr B my famous Madras Curry for dinner tonight, as after tomorrow we won't see each other for nearly a week. I intend to make this a memorable meal so that he doesn't
forget me when I'm gone.
I am more grateful than I can say to the Youngest of the Darling Daughters, who will be looking after Mr B for me while I am away. And to the Middle of the Darling Daughters for sharing
her holiday with me. As a dear friend commented, when I explained our arrangements: "There's such a lot of love in your family, isn't there?" It was quite possibly one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said to me.
Love, in my book, is summed up by the starfish, the turtle, the fish, the elephant, the rabbit, the crab and the snail, all cosily tucked up in the bottom of my suitcase.
In holiday packing, as in life,
it is important to Set Your Priorities.