Today’s major event was the huge guilt shop I did in Sainsbury’s. It was the biggest weekly shop I have ever done, because it included not only all the normal weekly stuff, but lots of comfort food for my family in case they need it in my absence. I also stocked up on tins, and frozen chips. I suspect that most of the 3kg (3kg!) of frozen chips will still be in the freezer when I return, but that’s not the point. I needed to know that there would be chips available in lieu of mother’s love.
I also took the opportunity to buy my travel provisions, which are heavier and bulkier than the sum total of everything else I have packed. I’m not entirely sure why I feel it’s necessary to bring a huge bagful of food with me – I’m only going to Europe, for heaven’s sake, and I know for a fact there’s a branch of Tesco in Bratislava – but I got a bit carried away. Some items are in there for health reason (prunes and cereal bars), some for the journeys (mint humbugs and fudge), and some because I’m British and frankly I don’t trust Europe to have Bassett’s Liquorice Allsorts in stock when the moment arrives that I need them.
But it was in the frozen food aisle that I had a little moment. How can I possibly abandon my family for nearly two whole weeks?! Kit and I haven’t been apart for that long since I left university. I don’t think we’ve ever managed to holiday away from home for more than 10 days. And as for the children … I can’t do it, I decided. I can’t go.
Of course, if I don’t go, that means I will have a lot of explaining to do to my family on Wednesday evening. Hm, I thought, don’t want that. I’ll have to hide somewhere. For twelve days. Europe, perhaps. I’ve always wanted to go there.
And so I persuaded myself to abandon my family instead of the adventure after all.
When we got home, I had a roast beef dinner to cook (with home grown veg – the parsnip tasted like parsnip so I think perhaps that was what I grew, and not celery). But before I did that, I finished my cue cards. I thought about the questions I might need to ask at the various stations, and looked up the words I don’t know. I found out how to get from the landing stage to the station in Bratislava. I discovered that the exit direction signs on the Vienna U-bahn are white writing on black. And eventually I decided that really, I’ve done all the preparation I can.
Now I’m just hoping my denim jacket (which was filthy, so I had to wash it) will be dry by Wednesday morning.
So my remaining jobs are limited to:
Mend Kit’s trousers and Toby’s cardigan. Because they’ve managed without them for several weeks so they can’t possibly manage another fortnight.
Print off my Danube boat ticket. I’m doing this at work, because our printer keeps losing its IP address and failing to work, and I might only get one chance.
Keep checking the weather forecast. For Austria. Austria!