The “Just-Before-You-Leave” Phase

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So, I’ll be heading up to Yorkshire on Friday to see my sister for a week, and I’m at that awkward stage pre-travel where I have no food in the house, but if I buy food, I’ll buy too much and it’ll go off while I’m gone. True, I am happy to pass remainders to my housemates, but the monks will be fasting soon, and where eating is concerned the people I live with are fairly picky. No-body here, except me, eats either supermarket-brand, or non-organic, and unfortunately, that’s pretty much my budget range. Thus, I’m stuck with the scraps of odd foods I find at the back of the freezer for the next two nights, in order to use up some stuff and still sustain my lifestyle until I leave. Really, I should start cleaning out my fridge space more often; there was a two month old piece of cheese, and a questionable apple wedged in the back corner. Good thing I spotted it before I took-my-leave, or the cheese (which was an odd shade of chartreuse), might have upped and escaped while I was away. The apple looks squishy, but seems edible, any takers? Actually… I’ll probably end up eating the apple. Beggers can’t be choosers.

The other annoying this about the pre-travelling stage is the packing, and the need to save clothes after laundry. When you live in a communal environment, you have to strategic with your washing. Until about mid-September, we only have one washer and one dryer, and with eight residents, weekend guests and a cafe, they’re in hot demand. After a while you start to pin-point people’s washing habits. I never wash my clothes over the weekend, because all the ordained residents like to put their loads in on Saturday before their study sessions, and Sunday is taken up by the cafe washing needs; dish-cloths and aprons and what have you. Monday is a bad day; that’s when the non-ordained residents usually hurry to get things cleaned. ¬†Normally a queue forms, and baskets of laundry start to file a line through the kitchen; once we get about three baskets in that narrow kitchen, there’s no room for anything else. Wednesday is the mid-week rush, whereby the cafe load comes downstairs again, and two of the upstairs residents like to get their bulks in as well. Friday is taken by those who couldn’t pull the queue on Monday, or R.R … mostly it’s R.R … every other week, because he piles up his load. I like to proclaim what I call the “T.days as L’days” – “Tuesdays and Thursdays, as laundry days”. I did this weeks lot on Tuesday, because I didn’t want to risk the time pressures of doing it on Thursday, with work and such, but that means for two days I’ve had a “stuff-to-take” pile forming on my dresser. Add to that a suitcase slowly being filled, and my room is getting as cramped as the kitchen on a Monday. (You see how I rounded those two points together?)

I pack early because I always forget something, and the more advance I am with getting-things-together, the less likely it is that something will be necessary or important. Last time I forgot my slippers in the middle of winter, and I spent the few days I was with my parents over Christmas, with freezing toes; I only packed an hour before I left. Surprisingly, I’ve never forgotten my toothbrush.

I’ll be spending five days with Tamzyn in Yorkshire, and then we’re heading down to Newport to our parent’s place, where the three siblings will reunite, and we’ll celebrate as a family my Father’s new job. I’m not sure how much writing time I’ll have when we travel down to Wales, but for three of five days my sister will be working up North, so I should get some time to both read and write. And, that’s always good.

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