Costa packet

475210437It’s the heat I tell you, the damn heat… We’re off to sunny Spain tomorrow and this is the first time I can remember not worrying about whether my fellow passengers can take the sight of my pale as custard bingo wings or corned beef-coloured thighs. My shoulders and legs are already respectably tanned, thanks to the British heatwave and I’m too hot to even think about donning a face-saving cardi or jeans even if they weren’t. We’re going self-catering this year – another first – and I’m seriously considering packing tea bags, which I think means I have officially turned into my dad. He once packed a frozen chicken tikka masala and pilau rice from the Bombay Restaurant in Beccles into his suitcase and delivered it to my pregnant sister in Canada who was craving home cooking. God knows how many food, customs and security rules he flouted on that flight to Vancouver, but as takeaways go, it was quite something. It went down a storm – he was lucky she didn’t send him back for the sag aloo.

No such nonsense on our holiday this year. Ella is going to be in charge of the Spanish kitchen –hurrah – and she’s already started planning shopping lists and menus – words that rarely go together in our house, like “turn off that hoover” and “who ate all the salad?”

I can’t wait to go, but I have so many last-minute jobs to do that I think I’ve run out of minutes to do them all in. Sitting here with the washing machine on a 24-hour loop and enough paperwork to keep a hoarder happy for a month, it feels as if we’ll never be ready. I’ve still got to book the cab, sort the travel insurance and work out how to log in to my new internationally flexible travel money card that I got from the Post Office. The beauty of it is – I’m told – that once I’ve figured out how to feed it cash, I will be able to pay for things by card in Spain without incurring expensive currency conversion charges.

I’ll let you know how I get on – but first I have to “activate” it online. It’s sitting there looking at me now with its shiny sunshine orange face. Let’s see what colour it is after two weeks on the Costa del Sol. I’m taking bets on Brit red.

Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn

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