3:36 p.m. � 01 March 2004

My Bags Are Packed: The pre-London entry

Note: I forgot to post this � the Post-London Adventures will be up as soon as they�re, er, written.

What do you get when you take two compulsive planners, a bunch of guidebooks, and the Internet, and tell them that they�re all going overseas in six weeks?

You get Suzy-Q and Alice�s Grand London Extravaganza, that�s what. The single most planned

So we�re almost exactly at T minus two weeks. And we�ve decided:

We�re we�ll stay (Baker Street, NW1, for those keeping score).
Where we�ll visit (it�s a running list, and suggestions are gratefully received.)
Which day trips are on the must-do list
Which daytrips are on the �reserved for emergencies, like if we get bored� list
Where we�ll shop for shoes
Where we�ll shop for other things
Where we�ll stop for gin & tonics
What kind of Travelcards we will buy, and where they will be bought;
Which coats we�ll take
Which luggage we�ll use
Which clothes we�ll pack
Which boots need to be reheeled to satisfy the Mandatory Boot Quota of semi-cold-season travel
Which clothes we�ll wear on the plane
Which CDs we�ll bring
Which guidebooks we�ll take.

If someone could just tell me where the money will come from, I shan�t have a care in the world.

The trip builds on the undeniable success of Suzy-Q and Alice�s New England Adventure (alternative title: GodmotherFest �03), which filled up five days between Christmas and New Year. Mum and I piled into an automobile (St George�s very pretty, shiny, automobile, it should be acknowledged) and drove into the sunset. Or something. Until we ran out of music and had to stop for more CDs.

We caught up Friends And Relations I�ve not seen in more than a decade, and met for the first time three delightful young people I�ve taken to calling the �niecelets and nephewlet�, although they�re species of cousins more than anything else. We were bemused by the local pub that closed its doors as soon as we�d vacated the building. (Note: it was 5.23 in the afternoon. We were not wearing the right quota and combination of bleached denim, flannel, and leather touches in strange places to satisfy the �mandatory hillbilly quota� of the dress code.) We contemplated what we would do if we were flooded in at the most ghastly �rainforest retreat� either of us had ever seen. Mainly, we contemplated who we would kill first � ourselves, or the manager, who was doing his best to demonstrate Darwinism in Action.

So: onwards and upwards to London. I�ll be fine once I�ve stopped checking every five minutes that I haven�t lost my passport.

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