I’m home alone. But in a good way! Later today, I fly to Amsterdam where @TheFrankFlyer will pick me up and we’ll spend Christmas with his family.
But between now and then, there’s still lots to be done.
My bag is 98% (estimated) full and I’ve yet to find space for the box of mince pies I want to bring with me. The Netherlands shows surprisingly little respect for mince pies, so I have to bring my own.
(Is this what it’s like when old people bring their own tea bags on holidays?!)
The pies may need to come in my backpack, where they’ll be fighting for space with a couple of books. Yes, actual paper books. I picked up a couple last month and I’m really enjoying read from paper again. My Kindle hasn’t been abandoned, but I think I’m going to keep it for reading for leisure, and buy paperbacks when I need to reference them again.
This is a long-winded way of saying I’m bringing some psychology books with me for Christmas. An excellent book on sleep and a brilliant guide to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Both highly recommended.
The pies and books are in competition for space with the spare pair of shoes I know I’ll miss if I leave them behind. I’ve already packed my running gear (priorities!) and my trainers are neatly stowed away. But I’m fairly sure I’ll need a second pair of shoes at some point, based on previous Christmas visits, so they may need to go in my backpack.
I feel the need to point out that I’m not normally a bad packer – copious travel over the last few years, plus firm guidance from @TheFrankFlyer – have helped my skills there. It’s just that I’ve got to bring Christmas presents for family in the Netherlands as well as Scotland – we’re flying up there on the 26th.
So my usual packing strategies are going out the window. It’s now a case of finding tiny gaps and squeezing in something fairly indestructible, still praying that the case will close when I need it to.
Then there’s the airport.
I’ve flown on Christmas Eve before (in fact, my flight to move from Dublin to London was on Christmas Eve, twenty years ago!!) and it’s not pleasant. There’s a sense of desperation in the air that’s palpable. People are more panicked than usual and therefore less patient.
Thankfully I’m flying from London City Airport, which should be marginally less chaotic than any of the other London airports. Marginally.
So now it’s time to get showered and dressed and have another go at fitting all my belongings into that suitcase. I need to be out of the front door in three hours, which I think is very doable.
As long as I can get those mince pies to fit…