Earning my stripes

Well, we’re off on holiday on Monday, and I’m pleased to announce that so far I haven’t fallen prey to some kind of debilitating illness. You know, like I did last year?

I’m less pleased to announce that in preparation for said holiday, I seem to have totally screwed up my packing. You know, like I did last year?

This time, of course, I don’t even have the excuse of the aforementioned debilitating illness. I haven’t had so much as a head cold (Watch one come and claim me now that I’ve said that, though!), and I’ve also managed to keep my workload under control, so, in theory, I have plenty of time to pack without all of the STRESSSTRESSSTRESS that usually accompanies the thing. Last year, I was so ill with flu that I was forced to leave it all until the last possible minute and then I basically just opened my suitcase and threw things in at random, meaning that when we arrived at our hotel, I realised all I’d brought with me was 25 black tops, a handful of black shorts, a couple of black cardigans, an evening dress, and the shower curtain. (OK, maybe not the shower curtain, but definitely all the rest.) Almost every single item was black, and actually, black isn’t really my colour, to be completely honest with you.

(I’d also apparently assumed that the weather on holiday would be permanently BOILING! HOT!, so when it was overcast and a bit chilly all the time, I was pretty uncomfortable in my little black  shorts and tank tops, let me tell you. )

“This will never happen again,” I muttered grimly to myself, as I got dressed that first morning (Well, the first morning AFTER the three days in which I got the flu AGAIN and had to stay in bed, moaning piteously and clutching a Coke Zero bottle filled with boiling water which I was using as a makeshift hot water bottle.) in the shower curtain and a pair of black tights. “Next year I will be totally prepared, and will bring clothes that are suitable for both warm AND cold climates, and which are any colour but BLACK. I have an entire year to prepare for this: what can possibly go wrong?”

I guess that’s why I now find myself the proud owner of no less than FOUR stripey dresses. And about a kazillion stripey tops. I even have a stripey jacket, and I WOULD have bought a pair of stripey shoes, but… Oh no, wait: I DID buy a pair of stripey shoes, didn’t I? Whoops.

These stripey items are what constitute my holiday wardrobe. I could lie down on the road and pass for a zebra crossing, it’s that bad. And the thing is: I can’t seem to stop myself. No matter how many stripey items I own, I still want more. It is a hunger that is never satiated. I will see a stripey dress/top in a shop. It will be virtually identical to one I already own. Hell, most of the time it will actually BE one I already own, given that I own all stripey items of clothing ever made. “Ooh, lookit that stripey thing that looks exactly the same as the stripey thing I’m wearing rightthisverysecond!” I will think, a sweat breaking out upon my brow as I gaze upon the stripeyness. “I think I will buy it!” And then I’ll have ANOTHER stripey thing. I look like a pirate most days. Aaaar!

Such is my way. If it’s not green dresses, it’s Things That Are Grey. If it’s not Things That Are Grey, it’s the Suitcase O’Blackness. And if it’s not that, it’s apparently stripes.


(Most of the other components of my holiday wardrobe are… navy. Which is, of course, DRAMATICALLY different from last year’s All Black, All the Time fest. Only a few of the navy items also have stripes. And by “only a few”, I mean “most of them do”. GOD.)