I have a wimpish streak when it comes to getting on an aeroplane.* I don’t do this very often nowadays, which makes it loom even more threateningly. In a way, although the procedures are supposed to be much slicker nowadays, what with t’internet and that, I hanker after the good old days when you went up to Meadway Travel, sat down for a couple of hours with an expert called Jenny who did all the legwork and answered all your questions (including the ones you hadn’t thought of); and three days later a fat envelope dropped through the letterbox, you gave the contents a skim, read the bit which told you where and when to turn up and then forgot about it until departure day. They supplied all the bits of paper which now you have to identify, download and (if you’re lucky and your version of Adobe is the same as theirs – possible but unlikely) print off. And how is it that my question has never been Frequently Asked?
Anyway, all that’s sorted, so I’m distracting myself with details. I went to Staples (you know, the wonderful shop where you buy your, erm, staples) for some luggage tags. (They had a choice of colours, I chose white.) I went to another wonderful shop called Clas Ohlson, which sells everything you can’t buy anywhere else, and got continental plug adapters, a two-way headphone splitter, and an alarm clock. I added antihistamine cream and paracetamol to my packing list. And a penknife. Never travel without a penknife (in the hold, of course, not the carry-on): as I have noted before, it contains a corkscrew. You have to be equipped for emergencies when travelling. Grand Tourists used to have several trunks-full of just-in-case stuff sent luggage-in-advance.
I’m going to Puglia, just in case you wondered.
*Multiply everything by ten when two aeroplanes (consecutive, not concurrent!) are involved.