Not quite yet but the countdown has begun. Some “if I wear that t-shirt today I can’t take it with me” packing decisions have already been made and I’m pretty sure I know what books I’ll be taking with me. We have tins of haggis, oodles of teabags, tubes of germoline and 2000 Boots own-brand sweeteners bagged and ready to go. The iPod is nicely filled with music and if I can’t get Louise’s MP3 player (a last minute cheapo eBay job) working then we’ll be sorted.
Most importantly, the passports and Euros are safely placed where we can both find them after I caused a minor panic by putting some Euros, that we had received as a wee Christmas pressie from my parents, in a ‘safe place’ lest we lose them in the post-Xmas tidy-up. You can see where this is headed, can’t you.
I had been tidying up, putting away presents, removing packaging, throwing out bags and tags and cards and paper and was very pleased to have our house returned to some sort of normal order. I knew that if I had come across the wee white envelope with the Euros in it I wouldn’t have thrown it out, and I was certain that I would have put it somewhere obvious. I’m pretty good at that kind of thing. Usually.
So when my darling wife asked what I’d done with the envelope a chill ran down my spine. A chill born from the instant realisation that I had absolutely, totally and utterly, no earthly idea what I’d done with it other than that it was in a ‘safe place’. A variety of visions scattered through my head; we turn the house upside down only for my parents to tell us we left it at their house; we’re airborne when I suddenly remember that I placed it safely behind the third picture from the right on the shelf above the TV; we arrive home to find the envelope sitting in plain view on the dining table where it had been all along.
After I’d recovered my breath (that breathing in a paper bag trick really does work you know) we decided to start with the obvious by checking all the presents. I rifled through the books I’d received, all neatly placed in the bookshelf in the living room, had a shuffle through the DVDs and CDs, turned jumpers inside out and even checked under my new model car… all to no avail. The panic returned. Had I thrown it out by accident? Had I not spotted it at the bottom of a bag? Would I be sent out to scavenge through the rubbish bins? (bet your ass I would be)
After 20 minutes of fruitless searching we paused, hoping that inspiration would come when we weren’t looking for it, I headed up to the computer to check my email, Louise followed me up to continue the
interrogation brainstorm for the location of the ‘safe place’.
“Are you sure you didn’t put it in a book?” she said as I passed the bookshelf in the ‘office’ upstairs. As I turned to answer a book caught my view. A book I’d gotten for Christmas. The only book I’d taken upstairs with me.
Elbowing my wife violently out of the road, I tore if from the shelf and as I opened it a small white envelope slipped from the pages and fluttered to the ground. I snatched it up and declared, somewhat too triumphantly:
“I TOLD you I put it in a safe place!!”
“You idiot” she mumbled before whipping the envelope from my grasp, extracting the Euros and putting them with the others in the more accepted ‘safe place’ of ‘the purse that we take on holiday that is in the same drawer as the passports’. In retrospect I have to agree that that is a better ‘safe place’ than mine.