The small, wheel-along travel case was, unfortunately, a bit of a mistake.
Usually when I go away for a Long Weekend, I pack
just as much as I can easily carry in my rather beautiful Radley overnight bag, a birthday present from My Boy some years ago. To this I add my splendid backpack (another present from the same source - My Boy is clearly Good On Luggage) in which I Pack all
the essentials for a train journey. Purse, mobile phone, newspaper, hastily thrown together sandwiches (usually egg, because everyone always has eggs in their cupboard, now don’t they?) and a good book which I have been longing to tuck into but have
saved for this very purpose.
Then Rosalie, the really rather wonderful person who had agreed to live in and look after Mr B while I was away, suggested I
should use a wheeled suitcase - so much easier for me on my walk to and from the railway station - and it sounded like a good idea at the time. I hauled my old wheeled suitcase out of the garage and threw clothes into it with gay abandon.
I first discovered the flaw in Rosalie’s reasoning when I tried to carry my suitcase across the footbridge over the railway track at our local station. It was SO heavy.
As I staggered over the bridge, a young, fit-looking fella, asked if I would like a hand, grabbed my case, ran across the footbridge, placed my case carefully on the platform and then retraced his steps at a run: “Sorry to rush,” he said, “but
I don’t want to miss my train..” He just made it, I was pleased to see, feeling quite teary at this sterling example of The Kindness of Strangers. Particularly of a stranger who could well have missed his train through helping me...
At the end of my journey, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters was waiting for me. “What on earth have you got in this case?” she queried. Next time, I told
myself silently, I will go back to my trusty fashion of Travelling Light.
Holidays - even a Long Weekend - are all about indulging in things you don’t usually
have the chance to do. The Middle and Youngest of the Darling Daughters had put their heads together to ensure that my Long Weekend would be full of such delights. I wasn’t asking for much - a chance to go to bed early every night and stay tucked
up till morning without being called upon for assistance; the opportunity to lie in until after 9 a.m. listening to the radio before rising at my leisure, knowing that breakfast was being prepared for me.
I slept in granddaughter Hazel Bagel’s bedroom which is possibly the most inspirational bedroom anyone could imagine. There are plaques hanging on every wall, proclaiming “Never let anyone dull your sparkle”,
“Follow your dreams”, “Do what you love every day.” It’s like waking up each morning bathed in sunshine, expecting another sparkling bright day. I gather Hazel feels she may have grown out of these Inspirational Reminders - but
I’m hoping that, if so, she will pack them away safely somewhere in a memory box. Then one day when she is strutting her stuff, wowing the crowds in a West End Stage, she can revisit the Girl With The Dreams she once was.
I never get to go out for an evening meal these days - so my daughters have booked (i) a table at a local hostelry and (ii) grandson Jack to keep the Rascally Trio in order while we are out. I order
sea bass which is one of the most expensive dishes on the menu and a floater coffee afterwards because I assume we will be sharing the bill. My daughters think differently.
I never get to see the littl’uns in their own home. So we have a lovely afternoon at their house where they show me the books they have borrowed from the library for the Summer Reading Challenge. Tala’s two books are about cats and kittens.
I learn quite a lot about the feline character which stands me in good stead when back at Kazza’s house where kittens Willow and Trixie reign supreme over the household.
On my very last morning we have brunch, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters, the Eldest of the Grandsons and I (I never have brunch) and then, guess what we do? - we head to the cinema where we lie back in comfy, reclining seats to watch Toy
Story 2. Which is all about Love and Loyalty, don’t you know?
Back home I come across the following: “The most beautiful things in life are not
things. They’re people and places and memories and pictures. They’re feelings and moments and smiles and laughter.”
Which, now I come to think
of it, perfectly sums up my Long Weekend