Monday, 7 April 2008

Shopping and packing

Dig has received the list of things PGL would like Squirrel to pack. And Squirrel is going on and on and on.

With her constant stream of 'Can I pack? Can I pack now? Can I? Can I?' she could blow the ears off a donkey. Either that, or Dobbin in despair would batter his head against the nearest tree trunk.

In the event of Grit doing the same, Dig has left the list on my desk. I understand this as shorthand for 'Get on with it'.

I take one look at this lot and laugh out loud. Honestly, I could travel five years on this stuff. Ten years ago I was out for six months and apart from the stuff I stood up in, took two pairs of spare knickers, one change of clothes and a toothbrush. I brought back none of that because my backpack was filled with a wooden Ganesh.

Clock this lot for three days:

2 sets swimwear
4 sweaters
4 t-shirts
2 long-sleeved t-shirts
2 pairs shorts
3 pairs tracksuit bottoms
4 pairs socks
3 pairs trainers
waterproof anorak
waterproof trousers
1 complete change of clothes for evening
small rucksack
bedding and pillow

Now some of this is downright difficult. Squirrel doesn't wear trainers because she says they make her feet look big. She is right. And we have to go from no trainers to three pairs within 72 hours.

First we make for the cheap shop round the back of the Agora marketplace, Daisy's. Now Daisy is a grumpy cow, but she does sell trainers at £5 a pair, so we buy two pairs. Then we hit the charity shops. The RSPCA is particularly kind to us; they have a bucketful of odds and sods at 10p an item. Most of Squirrel's new wardrobe comes from here.

After some deliberation I then book the bedding at a cost of £18. Squirrel has a sleeping bag but I consider this an adventure too many for a little unaccompanied Squirrel far away from home. Motherly, I want her to have a proper bed and a decent meal. I slip some flapjacks and dried apricots in her bag.

Now I've told Squirrel that if she loses her new wardrobe, or destroys it with thorns, mud and sick, then follow mummy's example. Don't bother bringing it home. Bring home something more interesting.

And all talk of PGL is now banned until Friday.

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