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Posted Jan 22 2009 6:54pm
Ah…less than 48 hours to go and the holiday feeling is almost upon me! Suitcase packed; passport and e-ticket in order; house tidy; spare key ready to bring to neighbour (for plant watering); contact details next to phone; etc.. etc..

O.K. and now like Geri’s esteemed ancestors, who pre-enacted their hunting strategies in red ochre on the walls of their caves, I plot my route methodically by scribbling it down in red ink on a bit of paper. Not as you may think, to pre savour the journey - but more as a precaution against getting hopelessly lost en route; if not at Schiphol/Amsterdam airport, then definitely at Gatwick/London, during transit, or Inverness airport car park.

I hate Gatwick. I have been told that it is not a large airport but I just cannot get it ordered in my mind. I'm never sure which terminal I have arrived in, let alone the one I am supposed to fly from. So getting from South to North terminal (or vice-versa) on the tube-train, with only minutes to spare to catch a connecting domestic flight, is a heart stopping nightmare… !

But this time I am cannily prepared and determined to get to my destination in one piece, complete with luggage (do you hear that BA!?).
Travel plus waiting and transfer times = a 10 hour journey from the completely flat (nether) lands of Holland, to a mountaintop in Scotland. OK, so now I have disclosed my holiday destination, hopefully it will not be jinxed – again! (ref': Holiday Curse, 14/07/08)

Plan: Lock front door and trundle suitcase, handbag and self onto tram - train - 1st plane - tube train - second plane – mountain jeep.
Note: Fill handbag with brain food: i.e., chocolate of all varieties, to help with thinking and concentration during journey.

Of course the biggest dragon on this journey for me, is that self-service check-in machine at Amsterdam airport…(gulp…shudder…). I can never work out which buttons to press and it always tells me it can’t find my booking and doesn’t recognise my passport etc.. So knowing the instant panic I shall feel at the sight of the thing, I plan to skip the hyperventilation stage - and immediately clamp myself around the knees of one of those young uniformed attendants and querulously beg her to ‘ please, oh please, please, please check me in! ’ (It worked last time, heh-heh..).

OK folks, that’s yours truely done for a while then! No television, computer, cell-phone, ipod. I’m off to look at wild birds, wee beasties and men in kilts; yodel from the mountaintops and try and get some fantastic photos. Probably be misty all the time I am there… no, no, be optimistic Geri. This time you will not forget to take your camera; get into any embarrassing senile situations, cause any international incidents, get lost or break any bones!

T.t.f.n. everyone. Enjoy your own holidays - and be safe xxx !
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