Today we’ve mostly been packing. Which means that we’ve been running around pulling out stuff from wardrobes, dumping them on the bed, and then choosing whether to bring it or not.

Our intention was to travel light, but now that we’ve done we have six full suitcases that will probably cost us an arm and a leg to get on the aeroplane. I don’t know how this works, to be honest.

Coupled with the stress of packing, mum and dad have been calling all day about this and that, and to remind us of about three dozen different things that we’ve already thought of – from bringing our passports to bringing our tickets when we go tomorrow.

But we’re done now, and can relax, and breathe, and turn off the phones – which will bring its own problems because I’m sure both mum and dad will remember half a dozen obvious things that we should be reminded of.

***

Auntie has been here to fetch the keys, and she has even promised to do the garden once or twice so it doesn’t get too wild. It would probably not be too popular if we came home to a garden that had turned into a jungle while we were away. She also promised to look after our potted plant. Yes, singular. We have a cactus in the kitchen window. It is our only potted plant.

Mark’s parents brought the dogs over to Wiltshire when they were here, so at least we don’t have to think about them. I’m sure Watson will love running about in the cider country. Hopefully he won’t get drunk and start to sing ‘I am a cider drinker’ by The Wurzels.

***

Mum also told us that she’s going to be a bit busy, so we’ll be sort of left to ourselves. One of the requirements of her job is to publish research, and she has to write papers, and the best time to do that is during summertime when things are generally slow.

So she’s not going to be Mark’s minder. That will be one of the assistants. I can imagine that is going to be popular. “Why do I have to babysit when I should do research?”

But he’s even more eager to go than I am, and at times I wish he would shut up about the job, but he goes on and on about it, so he’s really excited about it. He’s been packing basically his whole digital laboratory – which may be one reason why we have six suitcases instead of travelling light.

I think he’s going to explode soon, and he still won’t start the job until the 23rd. I’m going to have to keep him busy for about a week and keep his mind off the job.

***

One way to keep him busy is to introduce him to the wilderness, and I plan to drag him deep into the forests when we arrive. With a bit of luck we’re going to see some elk and deer and stuff.

I’m really excited now about it all, and I look forward to showing him around. It’s going to be so awesome!

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