In case this isn’t obvious I am trying to write this in the style of Jane Austen.
Esmeralda the eldest daughter of Mr Fitzpatrick Polkington of Hesmondwaite Manor in ****shire was by nature and upbringing a somewhat fearful girl. The absence of any brothers or sisters or male cousins no doubt contributed to this state of affairs. One of Esmeralda’s greatest fears was that of being alone and lost in some strange city where she had no friends to turn to for assistance.
Up to the age of eighteen her life had been passed in the quiet country around Hesmondwaite Manor and even an excursion to the nearest town let alone the bustling metropolis of Bath was viewed with trepidation. When an invitation arrived from her godmother, Lady Miranda, to spend a fortnight’s holiday at her London residence, Esmeralda turned pale.
“Papa, I can’t possibly go,” she quavered, “Pray make some polite excuse on my behalf. Say I have a bad attack of migraine or there is an outbreak of bubonic plague in the village.”
“Rubbish!” said her parent, “Of course you must go. How else can I expect to find an eligible man for you to marry? Besides, Lady Miranda is extremely wealthy and she had intimated to me – in strictest confidence – that you are the sole heir to her considerable fortune.”
Always a problem, at least for me. Even if I’m only going away for a couple of days, even just for an afternoon I can never decide what things are essential. Will I really need an umbrella? I’m going by car or bus and when I get there I’ll be inside, so an umbrella is surely a pointless extra ? Can I go in a cardigan? It might turn chilly better take a coat, even if lugging the wretched thing around all day is s pain.
When i’m on a bike or a trike I always have pannier. I know cyclists who take a minute seatpack and stuff their sandwiches into their back pocket. That way of doing things isn’t for me. I take a pannier – I mean I might suddenly see something I want to buy. I don’t usually buy a new dress or a posh hat on impulse but there have been times when I’ve spotted something in a shop window and thought “that’s just what we need”. Usually it’s something very mundane, a scrubbing brush or a jar of jam. something that’s been on my shopping list for the last three weeks but never actually got purchased. The way I look at it having space carrying capacity is always useful.
Holiday packing now seems to include so much IT equipment. I can remember when all you took on holiday was yourself and some clothes – perhaps a bucket and spade if you were taking the kids to the seaside. Now it’s mobile phones + charger, a laptop if you use one or a smartphone (I prefer my dumb phone, thanks very much. I just want to make and receive phone calls and make and receive text messages.) a tablet or an i-pod or i-pad – and of course all these gadgets need their own chargers.
At one time places to stay offered a bed to sleep in, a kettle in your room to make tea or coffee and sometimes – nearly always now – “en-suite” facilities. Don’t get me wrong I prefer my own bathroom rather than sharing with other guests. The facilities now include internet access and WiFi. So you can go on holiday and spend most of you time sitting in your room surfing the internet, playing computer games or talking to your friends on your mobile phone. None of these are bad things – I indulge in most of them at one time or another, but they are things you can do from the comfort of your home, so why go on holiday?