We go on holiday tomorrow! How exciting is that? We're off to Gran Canaria to indulge in a little all inclusive R&R (Matt will be drinking enough free booze for all three of us while I hit up the fooooood) at a 'no kids allowed' resort for the first and last time. Now please don’t use that information as an invitation to come and burgle our house while we’re away, because we definitely have lots of people staying around the clock to look after the property, a very expensive and highly intelligent alarm system, and we’ve recently acquired a large, frightening dog that will savage your face if you try.
Packing for a holiday is something I usually enjoy – I delight in the little rituals of deciding what to take, working out how many ‘nice’ outfits I’ll need for the evenings, I’m also a fairly frugal packer – I learned a few years back that I only ever wear heels once on a holiday, so now I don’t take any (made easier by the fact that Matt hates it when I wear heels, on account of his…less than lofty stature so I now only own about two pairs) and I’m pretty good at estimating the number of tops/bottoms/dresses I’ll need.
Packing while preggers is very much a different kettle of fish. A kettle of horrible, insulting fish that swim in a kettle of your tears, if you like. None of my clothes fit properly. Especially shorts. And it’s not just around the bumpage, oh no – trying on holiday shorts has enlightened me to the fact that it’s not only my tummy that’s getting rounder, but my thighs and arse have also expanded to the point where non-maternity clothes just don’t work. I spent half an hour at the getting increasingly annoyed and depressed about the state of my figure. I’ve now mostly packed dresses, because I’m loathe to buy a load of pregnancy holiday clothes when the next time I’m with child might not be summer, so they may never be worn again.
But depression-inducing incidents aside, I’m usually pretty good at packing. I do, however, have two main downfalls, which I’m trying my hardest to get in check this year.
The first is toiletries. Now, I’m what you might call a low-maintenance kinda gal when it comes to make-up and beautifying ointments. My make-up routine consists of moisturiser, foundation (if I can be bothered), eyebrow pencil and mascara. I gave up using eyeliner about a month ago as laziness got the better of me. If I’m feeling adventurous I might sweep a bit o’bronzer on to my cheeks, and a night out just might involve a small amount of lipstick (applied only the once and forgotten about, so it develops that nice dry, crinkly, cat’s bum look).
I've never been one of those girls who has a tonne of make up. I like to think of it as minimalist, but really I think it's just because I'm a bit...lazy. 
My friend Catherine has always had boxes of the stuff, right back to when we were teenagers. Going over to her house now is still just as exciting as it was then - I can't wait to try out her bronzers and skin smoothers and nail polishes and magic creams. And don't get me started on my friend Jemma, who's a make up artist. She has a literal full-length built-in cupboard in her flat dedicated to trolleys and cases full of the stuff. 

No, I'm not one of those women. But come holiday-time, my inherent make-up laziness gets completely forgotten and I attempt to pack all those accoutrements that live at the back of the (very empty) make-up drawer in my dressing table. I pack eyeshadow (my eyelids are massive and so eyeshadow looks utterly shite on me; I know this)! I pack four or five lipsticks! I pack hair things I can barely recognise, let alone use – sparkly grips and little clips and those hair bands that are like Alice bands but stretchy and go all the way around! See – I don’t even know what they’re called! Do I use these things? Of course I don’t. I spend the daytime bare-faced and the evenings with a smudge of mascara on. Even the foundation doesn’t make it out of the bag.
I also, inexplicably, pack lots of this unnecessary and never-used make-up into my hand luggage. This is baffling on two counts: I don’t use the make up for the whole holiday, let alone on the flight, and it means I have to faff about trying to stuff it all into one of those silly plastic bags you have to put liquid into. Which brings a whole world of confusion for me – is lipstick a ‘paste’? If the rest of my make-up is going in, should I add in the powder? What do I do when I inevitably can’t fit all these things into the tiny little bag?
This brings me on to my second packing nemesis, which is the hand luggage in general. While I am a frugal packer of hold luggage, this does not extend to what I think I’ll need with me on a short flight. The make-up in the little plastic bag is just the tip of the iceberg.
I’m not sure what I think I’m going to be doing at an airport, or on a plane. It’s baffling that I can last all day, every day at work, out of the house for 8-9 hours with just a handbag, but as soon as the word ‘flight’ is mentioned, I go into this crazy, hoarding, Mrs-Beaver-trying-to-pack-the-sewing-machine mentality. I pack multiple packs of tissues, and multiple books, and packs of cards, and multiple tubes of moisturiser, and snacks to feed the five thousand, and wet wipes and and and and and. I don’t even have children yet! This morning I caught myself googling ‘knitting needles flight’ to determine whether my 5 ¾ mms would be allowed on-board. WHY? Dear Lord, why? How much time do I think I’m going to spend knitting on a four-hour flight, or at the poolside or on the beach?
I’ve decided this has to end. I will still take a change of clothes and a bikini (just in case I get off the plane and my suitcase doesn’t), my ipad and a shawl/scarfy thing (why are planes always freezing?) but the knitting, make-up, gargantuan picnic and every form of entertainment known to man can stay at home.
Tomorrow I shall be spending the morning doing ‘personal holiday prep’. You know, the shaving and the plucking and the cheese grater-like thing you slew all the dead skin off your feet with-ing… Again, this is not part of my normal routine – I usually paint my fingernails about once every month, and my toenails normally remain painted until it literally grows out. Gross, I know. But at least Matt’s already used to this, so my post-baby failure to do anything more than shower a few times a week won’t be too much of a downgrading for him. I’m kind like that, always thinking of others.

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