Bea is in a panic – she’s never been on a budget airline before and is worrying that she’ll have to load her own cases on and off the plane and whether they serve decent champagne. Having told her that she’ll be lucky if she gets a warm cup of Fanta in the two and half hours it’ll take us to get there she went very quiet..........but has bought a new bikini and a sun hat “because I need them anyway”. Charlie is having everything waxed the day before we fly. Auntie Ivy is packing Sun Factor 150 (“one whiff of sun and I burn!”) and Lou is having a quick rehab session beforehand so she’ll be “right as ninepence” for the trip. Jackie, Lucy and Maria have booked emergency sun bed sessions beforehand and Melissa, Lisa and Lizzie are bulk buying condoms.
And me? Well, I’m filling up the freezer this weekend so my husband and child don’t starve – David’s planning on a Boys Weekend with lots of “boy” stuff. This is worrying – he’s recently bought the Sopranos on DVD. Oh, and I’m worrying that my swimsuit will be mistaken for the pool cover. Because we haven’t got Amelia this Bank Holiday (tralalala and a big yippeeeee), David has suggested that I go shopping on Sunday for some holiday clothes. Lydia is lending me her suitcase – the only suitcases we own are for packing a family of three. She brought it over to me this morning along with a gateau from Ayres which I daren’t eat. Charlie is urging me to buy a bikini but Hell would have to freeze over before I wore a bikini in public. Telling me that I could get a tankini instead did little to appease me – it was as if she were agreeing with me that a bikini was out of the question.
David’s changing my money into the correct currency (“Leave it to you and you’ll end up with Rands or something”) and Mac is covertly making me a “happy holiday” card. I’m a bit miffed actually at the almost blasé way they’re both waving me off for four days and three nights. “Never mind” said Lydia “by Friday lunchtime David will be ripping his hair out, Mac won’t sleep until you’re home to read him a bedtime story and the dogs will all be pining for you”
Well, that helped.
Lydia is coming with me on Sunday, she needs some new underwear - her relationship with Matthew is gathering pace but she’s worried about getting “into the frying pan straight out of the fire”. Mike has apparently been ringing her constantly to see if she’s seen her solicitor yet. All this pressure, she said, is making her want to do the complete opposite. Susan has been showing her face in The Avenue a lot more of late. No longer does she skulk in and out of the house, scurrying up to Nunhead Lane and back again. Nor does she try veiled attempts to talk to the neighbours now – her approaches are far more forceful and vocal. It seems that she thinks she’ll be Queen Bee now that Lydia is in Beckenham. Several of us have disabused her of that notion already but she’s got a hide like a rhino.
As will I if I don’t start my moisturising regime, like, yesterday. The base of a good tan is well moisturised skin – well, that’s what it says on the back of my £29.99 body lotion bought in a fit of panic this morning. I shall start my shopping list now…..Ambre Solaire, flattering swimsuit, ear plugs……