Thursday, October 14, 2010

There Is A Tide In The Affairs Of Men When They Need Their HB7's

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.


  1. Alan, You are being sidetracked! Happy holiday. Hey, Brutus is a girl's best friend, too. -J

  2. Have a great holiday and, beware of the bull!

  3. Bon voyage, Alan! And as long as you remember to bring the camera, you're all set.

  4. Happy packing! Take that current and foat! And don't forget to take lots of pictures for us. xx

  5. Remember... creative vomit!

  6. You are just like my husband. He spends the days before any major holiday asking me things like "Should I bring my spare golf shoes?". He writes lists, and spends hours looking up arcane weather facts about our impending location ... "Did you know that it snowed in Oregon in July in 1927?" Our kids call it "Daddy's pre-holiday growlies".

    Have a wonderful voyage, Alan. I can't wait to read all about it!

  7. Great post Alan. I must confess that it's my wife rather than me who has the pre-holiday lists (and associated stress). I get to do all the tricky tasks though like working out how to safely fix 5 mountain bikes on to the car, and driving on the wrong side of the road when we get there (not beforehand I hasten to add). Enjoy your holiday.

  8. My holiday packing stresses are caused solely by teens; teens who say 'Chillax Mum! Leave it all to me!' and then, instead, leave it all up to the last second and beyond.

    Have a great holiday and take card-loads of photos!

    (Ironically, my 'Word Verification' for posting this comment is... export!)

  9. Oh this made me chuckle
    Have a great trip
    all will be well
    and fun

  10. Oh the pre-holidays joys. I wish you joy for a great holiday when it starts.

  11. Chances are that wherever you go there will be shops that sell the things you need or left behind. So, relax and have a wonderful trip.

  12. Nice. Quotations from two of my favorite Williams. Hope your trip is as interesting as your posts!

  13. well, It Might get chilly Alan But Do You Really Need Your Combinations?

  14. Anonymous7:43 PM

    Have a great holiday!! and be safe!
    :)The Bach

  15. Hehe, I sympathise. But the main thing is your camera - don't forget that! Hope you have a wonderful holiday, see some great places and meet some great folks.

  16. I'm a victim of PDP, too! My to-do list is long and I get stressed! Preparing to fly post 9-11 is the worst I think with all the rules and regulationss.

    During the holiday..pure bliss though, right?

    Alan, Eddie Bluelights interviewed me for his roast which is now posted. I gave you a shout-out on there. Hope you don't mind! :) xo

  17. good luck with the packing!

  18. Your blog got a mention in today's Sunday Roast. I look forward to your return and photos of your trip.

  19. Have a great trip Alan! You and I have similar pre trip worries. Only thing is- I usually do forget at least one very important thing...never fails.

  20. I can help with the implement to remove stones from horses hooves but you'll have to find your own flat cap (and a bike, don't the two work together?) Have a great trip.


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