How not to...

>> Thursday, 8 May 2008

... prepare for a long haul flight.

Continuing my interminable series of 'how not to' posts, I would like to suggest that any reader planning on taking a trip down-under not do the following...

1. Despite having sorted out the Boys' clothes weeks ago, leave checking out your own holiday wardrobe until the morning of your flight, when you realise that the summer clothes you've been dragging out year after year have finally had it, forcing you to make an unscheduled, last minute trip to Peter Jones and then - oh foolish girl - to Marilyn Moore on the Kings Road. Thank god I ran out of time...

2. Decide that much as you would like to, your thrifty grandmother's genes simply will not allow you to throw out the chicken you bought in a moment of madness only 3 days before you are due to leave on your trip, and never got round to eating. Instead, you force yourself to cook a roast dinner to be eaten only a couple of hours before you leave, thus saddling you with one of the most time-consuming meals there is to prepare, interrupting last minute preparations, such as packing for a long trip, (something I admit should have been done 3 days previously - when I was actually out making the ill-advised purchase of the afore-mentioned chicken...), panicking about the Mouse having a party whilst you are away, re-making the beds for family due to house-sit whilst we are away, and cleansing the fridge of all the food that should have been dumped ages ago. Which, of course, takes us back to the chicken.

2. Eat the roast meal - which is hardly the best preparation for a 'fight or flight' situation when you get to the airport and the helpful desk clerk tells you that one of your bags is too heavy. The consequent repacking of 2 suitcases on the airport floor is hardly the most relaxing way to start your trip...

3. Spot the Mouse - or one of it's vast family - only minutes before you leave. Clearly, it is much too smart to consider eating some vile-looking green stuff hidden away in a child-safe box with a hole that just happens to be exactly the right size for it. You don't want to hear what I'm imagining might be waiting for us when we get back (and if you are any kind of a blog-buddy - Pig - please don't tell me...)

4. Ignore advice from friends, family, and blog-buddies who recommend various forms of sedatives for your kids that might give you a fighting chance of more than 30 minutes continuous sleep in one go. (I won't be making that mistake again...)

5. Break your journey for one night in Bangkok. Firstly, you won't get to do anything particularly interesting with 2 small boys in tow, though I have to admit that when they say the Thai's love kids, they are not joking. Boy #2 particularly is still coming down from the adoring glances, photo opportunities, and insanely grinning adults trying to get his attention. (I would love to think that it's just that my children are particularly adorable, but - no. Though of course they are to me...). Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, you will then be plagued by the constant refrain from Benny and Bjorn's (formerly of Abba) rock opera 'Chess'. Every time you explain to someone that you are stopping for 'One Night in Bangkok' you will be forced to carry on the conversation with 'Bangkok, oriental setting and the city don't know what the city is getting' rattling round in your not-so-subconscious...

6. Not take the sedatives you refused to get for your children yourself. Then, on your second overnight flight in 3 days, you will find yourself lying wide-awake, exhausted but unable to shut down, compiling shopping lists for your arrival of all the things you forgot, along with planning a blog post entitled 'How not to...'


Frog in the Field 8 May 2008 at 13:23  

Oh Potty, are you feeling frazzled and jet lagged? Get yourself a good cold tinny or chilled bottle of Bulmers Sweet Strongbow and some Souvlaki and you'll be well away....and the bug spray, don't forget the bugspray!!
Missing you already!
ps. about that mouse....oh, no on second thoughts, I won't say anything...

Elsie Button 8 May 2008 at 13:37  

i loved the fact you cooked a roast dinner just before you went off! - all that washing up is what i keep thinking about!

very very funny post!

Jonny's Mommy 8 May 2008 at 14:31  

That is so funny....I will add this all to my list should I ever get over my fear of flying and go down-under.

Save traveling when you get there and on your way home.

Iota 8 May 2008 at 14:52  

We are flying to England next week (ok, so it's not long haul as in Australia long haul, but it is quite a longish flight). I have steak in the freezer which I am desperately defrosting and will have to eat all week-end. I have not packed yet. I have not shopped for any clothes, although in my defence, "summer wardrobe" and "England" don't sit all that easily together in the same sentence. But I am taking to heart your thoughts on drugging the kids to sleep. So far I've been to the health shop and got some herbal stuff, but I do have a doctor's appointment on another subject before we go, and I sense the words "prescription sleeping tablets for kids" hovering near my lips.

And when I read "Bangkok', I immediately started singing that song.

Enjoy your holiday!

aims 8 May 2008 at 15:39  

I thought Australia was heading into their winter! Why are you taking your summer clothes? Oh wait! We're talking England right? You don't do summer - ever...or for only a moment now and then - so anywhere would be warmer...isn't that how it goes?

And about that erm mouse...I'm with Pig - I won't say anything either.

Have a good time sweetie! Gawd knows you deserve it!

Grit 8 May 2008 at 22:30  

have a great trip! (you're pretty organised - my mother once cooked roast beef before a trip and left it in the oven for two weeks by accident...)

Pig in the Kitchen 8 May 2008 at 22:41  

I'm with Elsie, the roast dinner madness sounded like something I would do...errr, couldn't you have frozen it? (or is that a big salmonella no-no?)

Not a word about the mouse. Not one mention of it. Actually I will mention you have a loft space in your building? They often nest in lofts and could just be scuttling down thru the walls. You do know they can climb walls don't you? So maybe, the problem is really someone else's and not yours.

HOW EXCITING that you are off on your trip! and even better that you took your laptop (i do hope you're not squinting over a blackberry to do all this typing) would be good, but if not, the news as it happens will be fine. Have fab time!

Samurai Beetle 9 May 2008 at 02:54  

Ah well once your over the jet lag the travel will be a distant memory. Hope you have a blast down under.

Carolyn 9 May 2008 at 05:58  

This post makes me reconsider our trip to Hungary this summer. I used to be a brilliant and carefree traveler, but with Csilla I'm a wreck.

And thanks. Now I have One Night in Bangkok in my head. It will probably be there for weeks.

Hope the rest of your trip goes smoothly...

ped crossing 9 May 2008 at 06:51  

Potty, make sure you read your own blog before you head home. Sounds like quite the adventure.

Frog in the Field 9 May 2008 at 07:31  

Grit are you serious?? HAHAHA!!

Tracey 9 May 2008 at 13:29  

You've gone through all that, you're en route to Oz, and you're still blogging?!!! Awesome stuff. (Methinks you might be the crazy one!) I've been wondering when you were going to hit our shores!
Yes we are heading into winter, but depending on where they go, they kind of need to pack for all seasons! Especially Queensland. Winter up there is probably like your summer! Kind of hard to tell what you'll make of what we call cold, though! (Mind you, you're heading to Melbourne as well aren't you! They do cold down there!
Have a wonderful time in our fair country anyway!! And don't forget to contact me if you happen to drive north from Sydney!

Mya 9 May 2008 at 21:05  

Are you there yet?

Mya x

Pig in the Kitchen 10 May 2008 at 03:32  

potty! fame! read you in the telegraph! have you really gone to Oz to escape being papped??!!

Potty Mummy 10 May 2008 at 06:34  

Hi Frog, frazzled, jet lagged, you name it, I feel it... Most often around 4.ooam.

Elsie, what I didn't mention is that I also managed to factor in enough time to run the dishwasher before we left. Sometimes I am so organised I could eat my own head...

J's Mommy, hello, I highly recommend getting over the fear of flying. Not only will it enable you to see the world, but it lets you leave the washing-up to someone else when you get there...

Hi Iota, how are the preparations going? I was including your herbal recommendation in my sweeping statement, and that's probably what I'll be looking for before we head home. That, or just give in and use the Calpol...

Aims, your comment reminds me of one of my 3 favourite jokes. In England, we like 2 days of the year. Christmas Day, and summer.

'nuff said?

Grit - I bet she had an aga. Nothing against them, but they do tend to foster that type of mistake...

Hi Pig, good point on the mice, though as we live in a basement and the loft of our building is now a flat, I have images of mice kitted out with rapelling gear and crampons abseiling down the inside of the walls. Obviously, their clothing would be North Face. We are in K&C, after all...

Hi SB, thanks. The jetlag does seem to be lifting now - though I'm told it's much worse on the way back. Can't wait...

Carolyn, don't listen to a word I've said. Go, go, go. The boys are having the time of their lives!

Ped, don't worry. I most certainly will...

Hi Tracey, yes we're here, thanks for the advice and if this is what you guys call winter (22 deg C), bring it on, is all I can say. I am assuming that I will have the chance to wear the slightly warmer stuff in Melbourne and Adelaide. In a way, I hope I do - or Husband will never let me live down the over-packing I've done in preparation...

Mya, we most certainly are. And based on the weather, as per previous comment, I may never come back...

Pig, that'll be the day...

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