Monday morning life
Monday 26 January 1998
"What on earth are all these?"
"They're for Goa," she replied.
"Goa? It's such a de rigueur holiday destination now, you're more likely to catch a cold from a horrible year-off student than typhoid."
"Yes, well I'm in charge of Health and Hygiene on my holiday," announced Vanessa. "Sara is doing Passports and Visas and then when we get there I'm doing Money and she is doing Entertainment."
"Entertainment?" I had a sudden vision of Sara treating assembled tourists to a quick rendition of "Hey Big Spender", or showing off her paso doble.
"Organising trips and so on. If I say we can afford it."
That's the best thing about flatmates. They introduce you to another way of life. My holiday preparations involve: a) 11.50pm the night before making a list of everything you need; b) 11.55pm stuffing said things in suitcase. Result, as Mr Micawber would have said: happiness. I've never forgotten anything really major, and anyway you can buy hairdryers, toothbrushes and socks in most places - can't you?
In comparison, Vanessa has most of her wardrobe contents on the living- room floor three weekends before departure. She sorts by colour, by climate, by newness, by designer. She goes to stores and tries on swimming costumes. She would not, as other people do, bang on the door of John Lewis five minutes before closing and grab the first size 12 bikini she sees. (Serves me right: I had to wear a T-shirt over the transparent-when-wet bikini for two weeks.)
Vanessa does not accept what the first doctor tells her about jabs; she gets a second opinion. She does not pathetically ask the doctor to stick the needle in when she's not looking.
Lastly, when all is packed, she does not do horrible things before rushing off on Monday morning, such as saying, "You do know about the worms in Goa, don't you?"
"Yes. You have to keep your feet covered at all times, even in the shower, otherwise they can enter your skin."
I heard a shriek, and a frantic flip-flop search begin. Oh Lord, forgive me, I'm scared to go home tonight.
Life & Style blogs
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 5 Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...