Tomorrow we are going on holiday. Hurrah. We are snatching the boys out of school and making a run for it to the pistes of the French Alps. I know this type of pursuit is frowned upon by the education authorities, but I think my boy can live without a week of spelling and maths at just six.
I am beyond excited about going away with the tribe, mum and dad have been bribed into coming along to play ski nannies, but the one thing that stands between me and true euphoria is the fact that we have to pack before we go. It's not as bad as it once was as we are finally saying goodbye to bottles and the steriliser as the twins are one in just over a week, but thanks to the addition of two babies we still need a double buggy, two travel cots, toys, bedding, nappies, baby-friendly cups, plates, cutlery etc. That's without even thinking about the bulky ski clothes that we have to pack for all six of us, ski boots, skis, toboggans, thermals and so it goes on.
I did say to my husband, who is conveniently working right up until about a second before we leave, that perhaps he would like to take over some of the packing duties. That is until I remembered that whenever he is asked to pack one lunch for the babies he manages to forget a key component like food.
To be fair to him he does do a sterling job packing the more manly aspects of our travel kit. He spent last night getting grubby under the car while he wrestled with snow chains, just to avoid a repeat performance from our last ski break when we managed to break one of the chains around the wheel of the car, much to the amusement of the French mechanic who rescued us. He also packs enough cables to keep a small branch of PC World happy, I'm not sure quite why, but he assures me they are all essential to sustain life while on the move.
Though I suppose I shouldn't complain as part of my problem is that I have never learnt to pack light. I dither over what the weather will be like (in a ski resort!), and end up with at least six outfits that never escape the suitcase. I am better with the boys, perhaps because men's clothes are so simple. Just pack enough jeans, T-shirts, socks and pants, plus a couple of fleeces and you're done.
With me I have to ponder how to cover up and look halfway human whilst in a sub-zero environment best suited to those blonde lithe girls who look great in sportswear. In London I can hide under fashionably flowing tunic tops, but in the Alps the uniform of jeans and fleeces make me look like a poorly wrapped sausage, inelegantly escaping her casing.
Still a week away from the early mornings of the school and work run amidst the beauty of the mountains should be enough to compensate for these fashion dilemmas, even if the diet of cheese and more cheese will do nothing to alleviate them.