We were booked on an early flight to Nice, so having washed, ironed, selected capsule wardrobe*, packed, unpacked, repacked, burst into tears, decided I couldn't be arsed to go, had a row with my husband whilst simultaneously clearing out the fridge - I lay awake all night worrying about, well, just about everything. I may have told you before that I have managed over the years to turn worrying into a transcendental art form akin to tantric sex - the build up takes hours and hours culminating in one almighty explosion, not of ecstacy but of angst. Don't know why, but going on holiday, dinner parties and Christmas have roughly the same effect on me. Total panic. I am obviously a raving nutter.
Anyway, having worked myself into a frenzy and my husband into a fury, ("Bloody Hell, I'm taking you to the South of France, not the frigging guillotine") I finally flopped, exhausted, into bed at around 9 p.m. so that we would be awake and ready for 5.30 a.m., when our airport taxi was booked. Whose bloody stupid idea was it to get such an early flight? Not mine, obviously. We used two alarms, just to make sure we'd be up, but needn't have bothered with either one of them as I proceeded to lie awake all night long, wide-eyed with terror re the awful prospect of going away. Poor me.
But, with the true stoicism of a man who has lived with a very strange and infuriating woman for over thirty years, my husband just quietly carried on regardless, getting me a cup of tea and a piece of toast at some ungodly hour, reminding me how lovely it was going to be, that everything would be alright, there was no need to worry etc., etc., in a similar way to someone reassuring a loved one about to undergo a major operation. Without an anaesthetic.
That man deserves a medal.
But why do I do it? The only reason I can think of (apart from the fact that I am a bit mad) is that I am a Taurean, a person who is worried about change and not very adventurous at all, who given the chance would probably choose "home" over any other destination. Boring, but true. Plus, I am shit-scared of flying. I'm not particularly concerned about the prospect of crashing (though I would prefer not to, obviously), it's the whole claustrophobic airport experience I hate, from the anxiety of having my suitcase weighed right through to the clanging shut of the aircraft doors. Shudder. I have to be going somewhere really good to make it worth the effort. But the problem is, you don't know how good it's going to be until you've been, do you? What we need is more hindsight, sooner.
Anyhow, we got there in one piece, it was hot, it was wonderful, it was La Belle France. Having left the wet and chilly UK so early, by 1 p.m. we were sitting in the sun, eating lunch in the town square of the medieval perched village of Tourrettes, (yes I know about the syndrome, but for fear of causing offence I am not going to make any wisecracks about it being the ideal holiday location for someone who calls herself Swearing Mother).
"Ah, this is just SO lovely" says I to my long-suffering husband as we clink glasses. Breakfast in the UK and lunch in the South of France. What a good idea that early flight had been. Hadn't I said so all along?
He looks at me for a long moment. I am sure he is fighting the urge to push me face first into my salad Nicoise, and who can blame him?
But he just smiles and says "I am saying absolutely nothing."
* for anyone not familiar with the phrase "capsule wardrobe" it's a term used to describe the clever selection of the minimal amount of co-ordinating clothes required to provide the largest number of different outfits possible - in reality it means that by day three of your holiday, everything smells or is covered in bits of food or wine stains, and you're bored with wearing navy blue and white anyway. Especially if you've accidentally packed brown shoes.