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Monday, 7 April 2008

Baggage

Twenty-five degrees at 1pm. Sunny with a breeze.

Today there is much preparation afoot, turning our thoughts away from our current distress, which is probably no bad thing.

Tomorrow we fly to England, where my heart lies. At O-God hundred hours. What bliss. But any pain will, I feel certain, be mitigated at the other end with the sight of my family's beaming faces and some good Mum's-home-cooking (because however inspired a cook your husband might be, there's nothing like the food you grew up with). Mind you, swapping twenty-five degrees for a promised high of seven degrees isn't what you might call a winning move.

As I work through my ever-extending list of things to find, things to pack and things to forget, it strikes me that once upon a time (when I was a young professional, and the international scene shone with the light of the pearl in my oyster) my packing choices were somewhat different. The Jean Muir or the Armani for the directors' conference (not as grand as it sounds, believe me)? The Chanel or the Jo Mallone for the team meeting? The sequins or the Laura Ashley for the New York post-premier party? And which three novels shall I take to while away those deliciously anonymous airport hours? Whatever the choices, the luggage was always the same : black, rugged, built to last.

These days, with two under-4s in tow, the choices are slightly less...City. Do I prefer the smell of dirty nappy in my handbag or artificially-scented nappy bag? (The answer to that one's not straightforward.) Is there space for a pair of heels among the baggy woollies, baby bodies and thermal vests, or shall I just go all country-in-the-city and stick with the Carmine-hill-walking boots that I'll be leaving home in? Will it be Wiggly Wormies or Chocolate Buttons (and chocolate airliner seats) for the emergency supply of treats? And if I take my newly-arrived copy of Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence, do I stand a hope in hell of reading a single word while I'm away?

Funnily enough, the black, rugged, built-to-last luggage is still going strong, despite having had the zip-catch ripped off by a Mexico City baggage handler in the mid-90s, leaving it unlockable. Am I worried about baggage thieves? Not really. Unless you're two feet tall and looking for the hand-me-down washed-to-rags look, it's not worth risking a fake airport ID for.



P.S. Anyone spot the quote?

4 comments:

Vanessa said...

Safe journey to you and the littlies, Louise. And enjoy the break.

Anonymous said...

I know what You mean, how life is different with children. I used to have candels and shells near the bath tube and now there are rubber ducks. But I would never go back and so I think You. So have a safe trip and do not forget 2 or 3 little toys for the flight and your babys favorit stuffed animal. Have a safe journey.

Gypsy at Heart said...

Louise. Loved the post. Details everything that has changed in my own life since I had my little boy. Glad to know you've gone to the place where all mommies can become children again. Enjoy your time with your family. I'll take a wild stab at it as I did not readily spot the quote. Is it the line about the nappy scented bag and the answer not being straightforward? Regards, Milena

Louise said...

Milena, I think you're too young for this one ... think the swinging sixties, a singing duo, close harmonies and great lyrics bordering on poetry...

Monday, 7 April 2008

Baggage

Twenty-five degrees at 1pm. Sunny with a breeze.

Today there is much preparation afoot, turning our thoughts away from our current distress, which is probably no bad thing.

Tomorrow we fly to England, where my heart lies. At O-God hundred hours. What bliss. But any pain will, I feel certain, be mitigated at the other end with the sight of my family's beaming faces and some good Mum's-home-cooking (because however inspired a cook your husband might be, there's nothing like the food you grew up with). Mind you, swapping twenty-five degrees for a promised high of seven degrees isn't what you might call a winning move.

As I work through my ever-extending list of things to find, things to pack and things to forget, it strikes me that once upon a time (when I was a young professional, and the international scene shone with the light of the pearl in my oyster) my packing choices were somewhat different. The Jean Muir or the Armani for the directors' conference (not as grand as it sounds, believe me)? The Chanel or the Jo Mallone for the team meeting? The sequins or the Laura Ashley for the New York post-premier party? And which three novels shall I take to while away those deliciously anonymous airport hours? Whatever the choices, the luggage was always the same : black, rugged, built to last.

These days, with two under-4s in tow, the choices are slightly less...City. Do I prefer the smell of dirty nappy in my handbag or artificially-scented nappy bag? (The answer to that one's not straightforward.) Is there space for a pair of heels among the baggy woollies, baby bodies and thermal vests, or shall I just go all country-in-the-city and stick with the Carmine-hill-walking boots that I'll be leaving home in? Will it be Wiggly Wormies or Chocolate Buttons (and chocolate airliner seats) for the emergency supply of treats? And if I take my newly-arrived copy of Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence, do I stand a hope in hell of reading a single word while I'm away?

Funnily enough, the black, rugged, built-to-last luggage is still going strong, despite having had the zip-catch ripped off by a Mexico City baggage handler in the mid-90s, leaving it unlockable. Am I worried about baggage thieves? Not really. Unless you're two feet tall and looking for the hand-me-down washed-to-rags look, it's not worth risking a fake airport ID for.



P.S. Anyone spot the quote?

4 comments:

Vanessa said...

Safe journey to you and the littlies, Louise. And enjoy the break.

Anonymous said...

I know what You mean, how life is different with children. I used to have candels and shells near the bath tube and now there are rubber ducks. But I would never go back and so I think You. So have a safe trip and do not forget 2 or 3 little toys for the flight and your babys favorit stuffed animal. Have a safe journey.

Gypsy at Heart said...

Louise. Loved the post. Details everything that has changed in my own life since I had my little boy. Glad to know you've gone to the place where all mommies can become children again. Enjoy your time with your family. I'll take a wild stab at it as I did not readily spot the quote. Is it the line about the nappy scented bag and the answer not being straightforward? Regards, Milena

Louise said...

Milena, I think you're too young for this one ... think the swinging sixties, a singing duo, close harmonies and great lyrics bordering on poetry...