Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Not For The Squeamish (or the Hamish?)

There's a strange knocking noise coming from one wall of my lounge. I don't know if it is the people next door doing something, or if there is something moving about in the wall itself - a rat perhaps. This is an old house, so I suppose that the rat theory is possible although it doesn't sound like scurrying - more like a rat tapping in picture hooks so it can hang tiny pictures of its relatives up. I've just noticed that the noise has stopped, which can mean one of three things: A) It wasn't a rat, B) It is a rat, but he's run out of picture hooks and has nipped out to Homebase to buy some more, or C) It is a rat, he has plenty of picture hooks, but he only has a small family - possibly due to the new traps that have been put down locally.

Maybe it's a rat who has lost his entire family to rat traps and rat poison, and is so depressed that it has decided to end it all, and was building itself a tiny gallows from which to hang itself. Maybe as I type, it's tiny body is swinging lifeless from a length of cotton. Maybe there is a tiny note on the floor beneath the hanging corpse of the rat, confessing to the pain an anguish it felt at the loss of it's family, and how it just couldn't go on any longer. Maybe later, two of the rats friends will come round and find it there and the note, and the full horror and terrible sadness of the whole event will be revealed.

Or maybe it was just the folks next door moving furniture or something.

I'm off to Scotland in just over a weeks time. I'm going up to Fort William in the Highlands, and I am going with my best friend and his brothers and sister. This is an annual trip that my best friend makes, but I haven't gone in the past six years - ever since I've been living in Dorset in fact - because I have had other priorities. I am really looking forward to going again, it will be such a good laugh. I'm not sure what our itinerary this year is - in previous years we have had a base at Fort William, and would then have days out to places - the Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, the Glenfiddich distillery to name a few. I'm sure we will do something similar this year. Or maybe something new, who knows?
In terms of me getting to Scotland, the plan as it stands for me is that I drive to Essex on the 5th of May after work (I'd like to finish early that day, please boss) and stay with one of my best friends brothers overnight. On the morning of the 6th, we pick up the other brother and I drive to Peterborough, which is where my best friend lives.
The next stage is to go from Peterborough to Tillicoultry in the fabulously named Clackmannanshire, Scotland. There were meet up with my best friends sister and her fiance, and we all drive to Fort William. My best friend and I are in discussion whether to take two cars (his and mine) to Tilllicoultry, as we will be tight for space in just his car. We have decided to make a final a decision when I get to Peterborough. However, we have agreed that everyone should pack 'light'.

The notion of packing light has raised an interesting dilemma for me. We are going to Scotland on the 6th May, and will be returning on the 15th. I will then drive back to Essex to drop the brothers off, and then come home. Depending on the time of day we leave Scotland, I may have to stay overnight at one of the brothers house and then drive back to Dorset on Monday the 16th (I might also need this day off too, Boss). So I leave Dorset on the 5th and return on the 16th - 11 days later. This means I will need 11 sets of clean underwear, one for each new day.
I do have 11 sets of underwear available to me - but only 11. Of these 11 sets of underwear, 9 are your average pairs of boxer shorts. It's the other 2 that I have the issue with. One is a pair of silk boxers shorts with the words "Party in my pants" emblazoned all over them, and the other is this spectacular little number:

For a moment I entertained the notion of showing you these "on". You have no idea how lucky you are right now.

These were a comedy gift from a very good friend of mine. She bought them for me along with two comedy boxer shorts that had Kermit the Frog, and Big Bird from Sesame Street on them respectively. Ironically, I disposed of those comedy boxers along with a pair of Action Man boxer shorts that were a present from my Nephew (sorry Joseph)  shortly before I was due to  entertain a lady recently. I obviously thought that the comedy boxers would not give the right impression if I wore them, whereas a sparkly thong would make a far more eloquent statement. How I wish I had Big Bird, Kermit, and Action Man now!

I have never worn the garment in the pictures. I will only ever wear them in the most dire of emergency situations.

So I will pack the 'disco budgie smugglers', but will endeavour to purchase another set of normal boxer shorts while I am up in Scotland. I don't want to be left with no other option but to wear the sparkly thong, on the day we come back. 8 hours in a car with those steadily climbing northwards, doesn't sound like fun to me.

Apart from my exotic underwear I shall just be taking two pairs of jeans, a few t-shirts, a warm top (jumper/sweatshirt/hoody), a coat, walking boots, and trainers. And I shall try to compact this all into as small a space as possible. A bit like that thong if I wear it for too long.

I am planning to continue my blog whilst I am away. All I need is Wi-Fi access, and I can use the app on my phone. In the event that I cannot update my blog daily from Scotland, I will make notes and will post 12 entries upon my return.

I take no responsibility for any nightmares or mental breakdowns brought on by the images in this post.

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