I’m going to take my life in my hands now. To hell with the consequences, it just has to be said for everyone to hear. “Da Boss is a bloody nightmare when it comes to packing!”

A number of you probably will recall problems when we travel by air, but over the years she has grudgingly accepted that there are weight restrictions. Sadly however this concept disappears when we travel round Britain.

And today I was reminded of this with a vengeance. We were packing up after our stay in Pembrokeshire and were heading back home along with Boo, our grabdson/trainer. It had been just a few days break, so I was not anticipating too much trouble. How wrong could a person be?

As you know Da Boss is a delightful woman with a whim of iron! When something needs doing she is the one to turn to, because she will definitely make it happen! However this tenacity and determination does have a down side. She is less than flexible when it comes to having to adapt to circumstances.

This was one of those circumstances! Basically we had one small car, a mini convertible; two adults and a small boy and some luggage to bring back to Nottingham. The amazing thing was that “some luggage” turned out to be around the same quantity that requires a small U-haul trailer or several taxis.

I have absolutely no idea just how she manages to do this, but somehow she had managed to grow the quantity of luggage by a factor of five in just five days. Sure, on our return journey we had Boo in his car seat, which we hadn’t had on the way down. But, I have absolutely no idea where she even found the stuff to fill the suitcases, carrier bags, cool boxes and so on, plus all the additional bedding and towels that emerged from nowhere.

TearinghairAfter two trips down to the car, loaded down each time I had completely filled the boot (trunk to you Yanks) I had also stuffed the footwells in the back with books and toys and various plastic bags containing shoes to cope with any emergency. As I flopped down in the chair inside the apartment I told Da Boss that a) I was cream crackered, and b) she would have to fit the last few bits and pieces into the car. I got an extreme look from her!


But I hardened my heart and announced that I needed to rest my leg before the five hours trek ahead of us. The silence that greeted my announcement could not have been more threatening. World Wars have been announced with less fanfare.

Taking myself off to a place of safety (the bathroom) I immediately started chanting Buddhist mantras, old forgotten catholic prayers for protection from evil spirits and even bits from the catechism from when I was five or six years old and getting ready for my first Holy Communion.

Eventually I emerged and made my way to the door to the apartment. I carefully locked it and slipped the keys into the envelope ready to be posted back to the owners. By the time I got down to the car I was feeling quite relieved. I was still alive, the car should by now be packed and we were ready for the off.

Well, we would have been, apart from the small mountain of bags and cases standing beside the little red car. Oh and the slightly less red person with a face like thunder and a look that clearly was last used to turn men to stone.redcarloaded

“You leave me to do everything.” It’s your car, you should be loading it, that’s your job!”

I said nothing, just looked wearily at my leg.

“Well, we will just have to pack things around Ben and myself!” announced Da Boss. And with that she demonstrated that air bags are not an essential when you have extra bedding and towels to cram around you.

I will not bore you with too much detail, except to say that the first half of the journey passed remarkably quietly. I was the only person to get into and out of the car when dropping off things or getting more fuel, and that the entire journey was broken with just the one stop, as the unravelling process each time was more than we could bear.

We arrived back in Nottingham and basically clambered out as if we were refugees from some month long stay in a refugee centre. Fortunately no neighbours spotted us or else we would have been in for a lot of humorous remarks about bedding down in the car.

Who knows though, it might even make an impact on Da Boss and have her think before packing for the next trip. On the other hand, pigs might fly!