I am quite a good traveler. Once I get on my way I can normally relax and soak up the atmosphere. Whether it be Cockermouth or Copacabana, I can usually blend into the tourist ethos and let my cares gently evaporate into the ozone layer. As I say, I am quire a good traveler. But catch me a week before I set off and I am not a pleasant person to know. I am subject to pre-departure panic (PDP) as I contemplated the inverse relationship between the length of my "To Do" list and the time remaining before departure. How many pairs of socks do you think I should pack? Minor details take on the form colossal blockades that are destined to prevent any prospect of a "bon voyage". Will my dinner suit still fit me, especially after those fish and chips I had last night? My normal train of thought is scuppered by the equivalent of leaves on the line or a signal failure at Clapham Junction. Will we need those annoying adaptors of will standard British three-pin plugs work on the boat?
I regret to say that you find me, with just seven days to go before our holiday departure, at the height of my current bout of PDP. Have you seen my HB7* or am I going to have to ask Harry for another copy of it? It will, I suspect, be a good few weeks before normal service resumes here on News From Nowhere. Do you think I need to take my flat cap, you know how chilly it can get on the Atlantic in October? I am doing a countdown to the holiday over on the Daily Photo Blog and I will put a post up on NfN next week explaining my holiday project. What the hell is the bloody combination for the suitcase? In the meantime I will try and get around and visit all my blogging friends at least one more time before we set sail, but if you don't hear from me for a while, don't worry, it is only a temporary hiatus.
I will try and rise above my mundane anxiety. I will take to heart the words of Brutus in Julius Caesar :
"There is a tide in the affairs of men
When, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures".
If that doesn't work, perhaps I should remember the words of the great W C Fields : "There comes a time in the affairs of man when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation"
* HB7 : An HB7 is a list - invented by my good friend and travelling companion Harry Buxton - of all the essential items you need to take on a holiday at sea. Being Harry, it includes things such as implements to extract stones from horses' hooves and, of course, belt, braces and string.