To Be Frank, July 7, 2015: From frantic bedlam to holiday haven

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Only 49 sleeps to go!” The Better Half announced, with a curious mixture of anticipation, trepidation, and sheer unadulterated thrill-seeking..

“I’m sorry?” I said, baffled at this sudden and unheralded turn in the conversation. Christmas wasn’t round the corner – even my shaky maths could grasp that much.

“Only 49 sleeps to go!” The Better Half repeated, more urgently. “Until our holiday!!”

“Oh, I see!” I said, the halfpenny finally dropping, after a struggle (as it so often does). “So the countdown has begun!”

A trifle early, you might say, but hey. Nothing wrong with looking forward to an impending holiday. Even if it was still ... well over a month and a half away!

Triumphant updates were then announced at sporadic intervals in the days and weeks to come. “Only 35 sleeps to go!” “Only 22 sleeps to go!” “Only 11 sleeps to go now – eleven!”

I dunno, it might be me, but I began to think someone around here was starting to get excited.

As for me, I can’t even really get my head around the fact that we’re going on holiday until the event is virtually upon us. Life seems to get in the way far too much in the meantime, with stuff happening left, right and centre to distract you.

The Better Half isn’t as bad as she used to be, though. Time was she’d have her suitcase down from the loft a good couple of months in advance, and would be throwing things in on a regular basis.

Then eventually she would decide that perhaps she didn’t really need everything and the kitchen sink after all ... so she’d empty it all out again, and pack a bit more selectively.

Me, I’m more of a chuck-it-in-at-the-last-minute kind of guy. I have an all-purpose holiday list – somewhere – and I tend to just go through that the day before we leave.

Admittedly I did have a bit of a panic the other morning. I suddenly became obsessed with the idea that my passport might have run out – mainly because it was now far too late to do anything about it, and I hadn’t checked it in a couple of years.

I dropped the razor, mid-shave, and dashed off to frantically search for it. And guess what? It expires in ... 2024.

Then The Better Half said to me: “I was thinking we might catch the nine o’clock train ...” “What time’s our flight?” I said. “Four in the afternoon,” she replied. “Er ... don’t you think that’s a little early?!”

Blimey, I’ve heard of leaves on the line, but that would be enough time to navigate your way round a forest, wouldn’t it? Still, better safe than sorry, I suppose.

Perhaps I do need to start worrying a bit more. After all, with my sense of direction, there’s no telling where we’d end up if the travel plans were left to me.

Plus I’ve had a busy time at work lately. My opposite number there has been on her annual fortnight’s holiday, so my normal modest part-time job has escalated into two and a half weeks of full-on, frantic bedlam.

You might say I need a holiday myself, now. Which is just as well, because I appear to be going on one!