Friday, 21 April 2017

Taking Leukaemia on holiday requires some strange preparations.

The Birthday Helium Balloon came with us for 3000 kms. It was one of the easiest things to pack.

No I haven't morphed into a travel blogger, I just thought I'd share a few hints I found useful this holiday but not so much for you as for me, cos if I write it down then I don't need to try so hard to remember it, cos let's face it packing changes as we get older. The stuff a carefree 30 something takes or a clueless 20 something takes, is far different to what I need when I am packing up Leukaemia to go on tour.

As a late teenager, I packed a red bikini and a pair of thongs and figured I'd find a towel when I got to the beach in Cairns. Oh who am I kidding, I didn't even consider a towel. I have a great photo somewhere of me petting a kangaroo in said RED, and all I can imagine is that that was all I took with me, cos all around me the locals were sporting their winter clobber and mine was the only skin to be seen. Yeh I was skinny then.

Sure, as I got a little older more, was necessary in the bag, but not a lot more, especially after the nappy / bottle paraphernalia phase was finished.

I went to Dublin for a girlie weekend and the 3 of us agreed to take the smallest bags as carry on cos we just didn't want to be dragging shit around. Somehow we wedged 'going out' gear and flash shoes and all other bits and pieces - even a hair straightener, into tardis bags and off we went. I suppose truth be told it didn't matter too much, cos I do recall sitting in some fake american diner type of place on the sunday morning after the night before, being so appalling hung over that not one of us gave a flying rat's arse about what we were wearing, quite possibly a pair of knicky-noos on my head, so playing 'What's in the bag?' would have been completely moot.

And I spent a number of fortnightly holidays in Greece, when I took togs and a sarong and thongs and a couple of T shirts. I wore the sarong to the beach over togs during the day and then folded it in half to make a shortish skirt to 'dress up' for dinner at night. When you book a last minute holi it often means going the next day, or even that afternoon so no packing thought is possible.

I have packed up whole houses and moved to the other side of the world twice and I am pretty ruthless, and quite canny about what will fit where, and I think in all those thousands of kilometres only a tea pot was ever broken.

But now packing is more troublesome.

Now I need to plan for possibilities, and not only good ones. Yeh I still wonder about taking a pair of 'good' shoes in case of a possible meet and greet with someone famous, and I'll take a couple of scarves to dress up something a bit dowdy, but mostly I plan for shit, sometimes literally.

Now I need to pack up a pharmacy and consider the climate controls listed on the boxes.

The side effects of the Leukaemia Meds are so varied and unpredictable, that a boy scout would have no chance of dib dib dib, being prepared.

So I packed up Class A pain meds after a trip to the doctor for a prescription cos if that fucking hip / bone pain came back while we were in the middle of the desert, then I wanted to be able to manage. Yippee to the unopened box!

And then I had to MacGyver something in case my guts erupted 300 kilometres from a loo.  This is a common enough event at home and I just sigh and sleep and imagine that it's a good thing cos I might lose a few pounds as I run to and fro to the throne, but I was far less sanguine about 'an episode' on the road. So I packed up a couple of solid looking plastic bags, one of 'em was a dry clean bag I collected along the way and stole a flannel and bought an industrial pack of loo roll and spent time wondering if I sent Stevie into the desert he'd be snake safe while I opened the front and back doors of the car and perched in between for privacy and the wondered if my knees were up to the task of holding me up for long enough to finish up. How I honestly thought I was gonna manage the bag situation is still a mystery. We tried to buy a sturdy bucket in Alice Springs but failed. Oh Well.

Funny how times change. Most people go hunting for artwork or artifacts in Alice, and we went in search of a bucket. Oh Well.

Luckily enough for me and Stevie and any poor soul driving that stretch of road, I didn't have to stop and squat and squirt. Yippee again.

Oh sure there were days when I was less well and had to admit defeat mid afternoon for a snoring nanna nap, and I did occasionally fail in my duty of entertainment provider as I slipped into a ZZZZ off on the road- thankfully not while I was driving, and there was the odd headache and bit of nausea and the tired irrits came and went.

Stevie did remarkably well, so I reckon the most important bit of packing is to stuff in someone with the patience of a saint. He would have gone much harder without me, although perhaps he wouldn't have gone at all without me. In any case, I was pleased that he went on auto pilot and slowed and sped up depending on how I was.

A list of possibilities is also useful, although I reckon it's better to end with a list of things you HAVE seen or done rather than a list of what you missed.

I am very pleased that we have driven through the desert and seen stuff, but I am not sure that a driving holiday is really for me. However, there is so much packing and unpacking, in, out, shake it all about - every few days, that if you require some practice then this might just be the holiday for you.

What I will say is that I am pleased that Leukaemia was so well behaved, better in fact than many a screeching small child, or a demanding slobbering old person, so I reckon another adventure is not out of the question.


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