In line with the responsibility angle of a lot of these blog posts, I’ve invented a new pseudo condition – dyscalculexia. This, for the less medically inclined is a (made up) mixture of difficulties reading both words and numbers. It isn’t a medically recognised disorder, but it can only be a matter of time. It is possibly also a way of avoiding hate mail.
After the misery of missing our trip to Genova because I lost my passport (see here), Rosie and I had a lovely trip there a few months later (erhem, it wasn’t without hiccups but nothing major). A couple of years later, we planned a trip to Marrakech to celebrate the end of her GCSE’s. Military precision this time. Passports all ready. Flying out on Friday at 10pm from Heathrow. Ready to start packing late Friday afternoon.
I worked at home that day, and Rosie was around all day, having a lie in, washing her clothes, ready to catch the bus to Heathrow from the bus stop across the road about 6.30/7pm. About 4pm, bored with working at the kitchen table, I idly picked up the printed ticket. I read the details and thought ‘Mmm… bit weird, why no terminal?’ I kept vaguely reading the line on the ticket; LHR… 20.00 hrs…. I read and re-read the details till the LHR slowly morphed into LGW. Holyshit. HOLYSHIT. HOOOOOLLLYYYSHHHITTTT! LGW.. LONDON GATWICK… ?????? Total horror and panic started to seep through my bones… We had to go to Gatwick not Heathrow??? Richy Rich was still at work and we hadn’t packed.
Just as that horror registered, my brain slowly whirled into a different plane and focused on the time…20.00…10pm…20.00…10pm. Yelp. Ice cold blood seeped through my veins. Crap. OMG. SOB.
“ROSIE! GRAB YOUR STUFF! WE GOTTA LEAVE NOW!!!”
I grabbed the phone and dialed Richy’s mobile… “Got it all wrong…” breathe…sob… “Flight from Gatwick…” heave… “Rush hour… Friday..”…sob… “Leaving now”, said RR.
Rosie responded quite rationally really; “What.do.you.mean???? My socks are still wet? I haven’t packed anything???” “Don’t worry about that, chuck it all in a bag, we gotta get across the road to the bus stop NOW”, I shouted. I ran round packing like a rubbish thing, Rosie came running downstairs with a half open case and we both legged it across the road to the bus stop.
At the bus stop Rosie refused to talk to me. I was having a major head scream thing going on with total panic about the rush hour traffic and fear about not arriving in time to check in. The coach arrived and we sat in tense silence as it edged its way towards the M40 and slowly, inch by inch to the M25. Ulla matey started to text me traffic updates on a regular basis. Yes, there was a bit of a bottleneck on the slip road off the M40 but the M25 was reasonably clear, etc etc. After a very, very long journey during which my forehead was almost glued to every inch of passing motorway through the window, we arrived in time to check in. Just.
We arrived in Marrakech just after midnight.
Rosie finally started talking to me again when our taxi passed a camel on the way from the airport.