The Vintage Babe Travels
Going away for a few days is hard work for me. I wash clothes that haven’t seen the light of day for years but I just might wear, I iron which is a chore I avoid all year. Like I want the immigration guys to be impressed when they root around in my case. They haven’t done so for a while now but on the ferry from Tangier to Spain they picked on me out of all the dodgy looking characters – guys & gals from the antipodes with rucksacks weighing in at six stone or more, men with ravaged faces every inch the malefactor, women who I reckoned were dead dodgy. But no. They stopped me, insisted I was my best friend’s mother and gave me the once over anyway. I must have that kind of face. People come up to me in bars and ask me where they can score dope, I quite like this I think it means I have the face of a sophisticate – I fool myself a lot like this, it probably means I look scruffy. I went to Amsterdam with four other women and the buggers stopped me on the way in – I do wonder what they thought I would be importing into Amsterdam! Perhaps I have a criminal mien or it’s the shape of my head? Who knows? But it brings a little extra aggro to customs.
But back to the preparations: I have to water my plants extensively & desnail the area – with my crocs. I used to chuck them over the wall but I heard on Gardeners Question time that they get back surprisingly speedily so now I crunch em and refuse to think of Brian. I haven’t seen any slugs yet this year – no doubt there will be a plague of them as soon as I leave. The mice seem to have disappeared for several days now, I plugged all the holes I could find with foil and foiled them but they get in anywhere. A mate reckons they are packing to come with me to Lisbon and if this is true I wonder is mouse is a universal language like Esperanto? Will they encounter racism? But no I am afraid they will re – establish themselves and build a colony in my house and be resentful when I make a comeback. There are gaps in the floorboards for ease of passage from both sides of my terraced house and next door is being tarted up with ‘wooden’ floors to facilitate skating for mice or alternatively moving one house down where my grotty carpets are more mouse friendly. Who can read the mind of a mouse?
I have washed all my knickers and packed them as if I expect incontinence to strike at the border or I won’t have water to wash them in Portugal. My mother’s voice rings in my ears ‘You can never have too many knickers!’ Also Immodium and tissues and teabags I might take powdered milk too. My love, who is a world class traveller looks askance at all my precautions and idiosyncrasies. Berets for bad hair days and a big jumper just in case the Atlantic coast freezes over unexpectedly. A raincoat and several scarves. I remember in the very distant past travelling a la stop with just one pair of spare knickers but I have become cautious with age, and more wise?
No more obsessive.
And now I am exhausted and must have a liedown to recover!