Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Packing for ten months

"So how on earth do you pack for ten months afloat?" someone asked me last week.  The answer is... gradually.  Bit by bit, piles of 'stuff to go' have been accumulating around the house.  A couple of days ago, I brought it all into one room and started filling bags (soft ones, of course - no wheelie bags allowed on board!) Yesterday, Charles and I actually bit the bullet and decided which clothes to pack: not very many, as we're counting on mostly warm weather and anyway, all the clothes we need are already on board, as we didn't bring them home after the summer's sailing.

Categories of packing:
     - food: fruit cake, bara brith (the Hairy Bikers' recipe), Marmite, dried porcini
     - presents: colouring pencils, inflatable globes, lipsticks and perfume samples
     - a file called Destinations, with all the research we've done about the places we'll be visiting
     - books: a surprising number, given that we each have a Kindle.  Some were presents, including   Moby Dick, a gift from my Secret Santa at Pakeman, and Alice Oswald's Falling Awake, from Mia "to keep you amused on night watch"
     - numerous medicines and potions for the First Aid kit
     - dressing up clothes: well, you never know when you might need to be a pirate, do you?
     - embroidery threads and a guide to stitching, to help me make the best of Harriet's antique linen
     - inevitably, some spare parts
     - an entire bag of camera kit

What have we forgotten? I'm sure there'll be things we can ask our visiting crew to bring.  Life on board is simpler in many ways, so I hope we'll need fewer possessions.

Only a couple more days before we leave.  Lots of "lasts": last walk on Hampstead Heath, last theatre outing this evening (to Mary Stuart at the Almeida), last lunches, drinks, dinners and even breakfasts with friends, lots of goodbyes.  Enough preparing and packing!  I can't wait for our adventure to start.

Here we are ready to go:

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