The reunion lunch has been eaten, and up to two and a half years' worth of news exchanged. The house is as clean as it's going to be. The kitchen table is practically collapsing under the weight of the pile of cat food, as if the house sitter wouldn't be capable of buying more if he somehow ran out mid-week. The beekeepers' library has been lugged from the spare room to our room, together with my projection equipment and various boxes of beehive frames, bags of spare Christmas wrapping paper and all the other oddments that end up in a spare room. Some clothes that vaguely go together are packed in a suitcase. Guides to churches, architectural tiles, gardens, and the National Trust are in a heap with the holiday reading lights and an extension cable, just in case the flat doesn't have good light for reading. A list of things to take reminds me that I must pack my wellington boots and walking coat.
We're going on holiday.