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Saturday 29 September: BAD DOGGIE

Today we leave Chipps Barton on the first stage of our journey to Israel. We have packed our cases and just about managed to get everything in within the 20 kilos limit. Fortunately we only have to get two cases and a couple of small travel bags into our Corsa. We can almost audibly hear our little car sigh with relief. No tent and all the other things we usually have to cram in when we go camping in France for the summer.

Julia sits on her case while I do the zip up, put a strap round it, and lock it. We weigh it just to make sure it is o.k. It is exactly the correct weight now that Julia has removed  a number of clothing items ‘that she just had to take with her’ originally. Congratulating ourselves on our efficiency we stand the case on its side … and it explodes! We knew that one of our cases had a suspect zip but we couldn’t remember which one. We now know that it is this one. Well we hope that it is this one? Fortunately we have a loft full of suitcases and we soon replace the broken one.

Reggie Doggie, the family Jack Russell (who doesn’t know that he is a dog but thinks he is human) knows that something is up. He follows us all round the house, constantly getting under our feet. For the last two years, when we have been packing up the car to go to France, he has tried to stow away. We wonder what tricks he will try is time? He is in a right mood and whines pitifully when the time comes for us to leave. He will only be on his own in the house for a short time. Julia’s mother, Olivia, will be back from her coffee morning soon.

We are flying out of London Luton Airport tomorrow. Our flight is not until 12.25 p.m. but we have to be at the airport by 9.25 a.m. so we are staying overnight at the Premier Inn by the airport. We like Premier Inns. They are not too expensive and provide a good standard of accommodation. We have a great room with triple glazing and air conditioning … the airport is right next door. Indeed we wonder if the planes are taking off from the hotel car park? There is a Beefeater Restaurant in the hotel complex and we book a table for later in the evening.

Julia phones home to make sure that her 85 year old mother is coping without us. I am not directly involved in this phone conversation but am soon made aware that all is not well. We knew that Reggie Doggie was not too happy about us going away, but apparently when Olivia took him for a walk during the afternoon he slipped his lead and ran away. Olivia was very upset and had little choice others than to come home and ask a neighbour to go and look for him. Eventually he was found hiding in a ditch … bad doggie!

We enjoy a really nice meal at the Beefeater Restaurant, made better by the fact that the wine waiter forgets to bring us the bottle of wine we have ordered to go with our food so the management gives us two huge glasses of top quality wine free, gratis, and for nothing to compensate for their error. The glasses are so huge, and the wine is so top notch, that we cancel the bottle we ordered and just enjoy these two glasses with our food, before returning to our room and a good night’s sleep before flying out to Israel tomorrow.

Jim Binney


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