I profess to be rather good at packing. I guess the old adage of ‘practice makes perfect’ rings true – and I have definitely had a lot of practice!
But on Saturday night as I packed my bag, I suddenly felt the churn of unease in my stomach: where was my international driving permit?
Without my IDP, I wouldn’t be legally allowed to drive in most of the countries on our route and my Dad and sister would probably throw me out of the car – eek!
As I frantically searched my bags again and again, it hit me. The good news: I knew exactly where my IDP was. The bad news: it wasn’t here. It was in fact in London in my travel documents case that I’d left on my desk with a post-it note reminding me to pack it before I left. The post-it note I evidently forgot to read before I gathered up all my things, hopped on a train and came home.
I told Dad what had happened. He took one look at me, laughed and said “Well I guess you better go to London and get it then”. So, accompanied by my very understanding boyfriend, off to London I went.
Now, you’d be forgiven for thinking that taking a train from Brighton into London at 8pm on Saturday night would be a fairly straightforward affair. However you would be wrong. Courtesy of our beloved railway operator friends and adding in the fact that it was Pride on Saturday so most of the centrally-routed buses were on diversion, that was not the case. It took the boyfriend and I a good two hours to get to the flat (when it should normally take around one). We arrived, grabbed the IDP (and my insurance card which I realized I’d also forgotten!), grabbed two magnums out the freezer (subsistence!) and got back on the bus bound for Waterloo ready to come all the way home again.
Another two hours later, just short of midnight, we arrived at the station to find Mama Darnley kindly waiting to give us a lift home. Aren’t mums just the most wonderful human beings in the world? I honestly don’t know what I’d do without mine!
IDP (and insurance card!) in hand, I was at last good to go. I made sure the IDP was in my bag this time – no more post-it note drama. We loaded the bags into the car, collapsed into bed and with that, it was time to sleep! Booked on a 9am ferry, we needed to be on the road by 6:30am…