I have a new Best Friend Forever. Yes, I know, I do have a lot of them - all special, but for different reasons. My latest BFF is named Elaine and I doubt if I shall ever meet her - which is a great pity.
Elaine was the person who answered the telephone when I rang to enquire about an organisation which offers holidays to people with disabilities and their carers, with 24 hour care
packages available to suit all levels of care. I was excited when I rang at the very thought that Mr B and I might be able to enjoy our first holiday together for six years; if anything, I was even more excited after speaking to the Delightful Elaine.
I am off on a weekend away to York tomorrow and I had been thinking that I would wait until I returned before sorting out a number of Pressing Matters. Things like booking
my car, the Grand Old Lady, in for her MOT, for arranging the collection of various items of equipment which Mr B no longer needs, for trying to book us a holiday. Then it occurred to me that it would be a far, far better thing to sort everything out
today, allowing me to enjoy my trip without worrying about Things Left Undone. It turned out to be one of my better ideas.
Elaine apologised for having to
ask me lots of questions before we could actually get down to the serious business of checking availability. It wasn’t her fault that I didn’t have all the answers at my fingertips. I was okay on our dates of birth and any dietary requirements
we might have (I said none because I didn’t think she really needed to know that I am Always Thinking of My Stomach.) It was things like the postcode of our GP surgery (it’s just moved house so it’s not surprising I was struggling) and the
details of an emergency contact (I picked on the Youngest of the Darling Daughters as being the nearest to our holiday destination but then had to rummage through my address box to make sure I had the correct telephone number. Strange that, I ring her all
the time and never think to look up her number - but, charged with formally identifying her as our Contact In Case Of Emergency, my mind went blank for a moment.
B, listening in to my one-sided conversation, couldn’t understand why I had to keep trotting off to look up more information. He, of course, didn’t have the benefit of being able to listen to the Delightful Elaine and couldn’t understand
why I was “faffing around” as he (charmingly) put it. “So sorry about all this,” said the Delightful Elaine. “No problems,”I responded, with a meaningful look in Mr B’s direction.
When it came to the actual booking of our short break, the Delightful Elaine seemed absolutely determined to find ways of cutting the cost of our holiday. This is the exact opposite, is it not, of
what one expects in such a situation, where the original cost appears quite reasonable until all the Added Extras are factored in. By the time my new BFF had finished our booking, she had managed (without any input from me) to reduce the cost of our holiday
by nearly £350. By the time we ended our conversation, we were firm friends. I almost invited her to join us...
Mr B is agog with eager anticipation and
keeps reading excerpts from the brochure out to me. He is particularly excited by the mention of “whisky tasting” among the list of daytime activities.
The theme of our short break is “Queen Will Rock You.” With any luck, and thanks in no small part to the Delightful Elaine, we will not, for a blissful five days in April, be Under Pressure but will be having some of the Best Days of Our
Don’t Stop Us Now!