As a general rule I do not get overly excited at the thought of travelling. A backpack and a lack of shampoo doesn't fill me with excitement in the same way it seems to do a lot of folks in the 18-25 bracket. I am looking forward to us all being about 45 when, hopefully, I'll have the money to see all the places they saw, but with a hotel to sleep in and no chance of catching various diseases while I experiment with potential soul mates.
I have lots of interest in seeing the world, my top 5 places still to visit are Peru, Norway, South Africa, David Attenborough's current location and Italy. I just have very little interest in travelling there.
I am a nervy traveller. I don't sweat the big stuff: I'm not in the least nervous about flying, I rarely think boats I'm on will get attacked by sharks, and I have never been given sufficient reason to believe I might bump into Alesha Dixon in any of my holiday destinations. The one, tiny, exaggerated fear I have is that I will somehow get myself into a situation that only Liam Neeson can rescue me from, but that is pretty well kept under wraps.
It's the little things that I am terrified of: losing passports and being stuck somewhere, missing planes and ending up missing the entire holiday, breaking legs in countries where I don't speak the language (everywhere except places that speak very limited French or use "un bocadillo de jamon Yorke" for everything), losing paperwork, getting shouted at... the list goes on and it doesn't get any more interesting so I'll spare you it.
This year I was all set to have a nice Staycation in the Lake District. It would soothe my eco conscious mind, help me squeeze in a Scottish gig midway through, and generally mean that the paperwork I had to get right was just renting a car and booking a hotel. All fine. You can imagine my delight, therefore, when it turned out that you had to be able to physically shit physical gold through your physical bum hole to be able to afford to look at the Lake District on a holiday. I mean good and holy Lord Pullman what are they hiding amongst the lakes in that District that makes it ok to charge those prices to be slightly wetter and further away from where you are now? I'd probably need one of the lakes naming after me and for it to be full of the cast of Overboard re enacting the film for my eyes only. Give over.
So, instead of driving up there and giving the Lake District en masse a piece of my mind, we resolved to go to Prague instead. Prague is a city where the cuisine is best described as "salty and fleshy" and the buildings are pretty enough to make you feel cultured while you shuffle through heart attack laden alleyways.
I got pretty nervous straight away but figured, "Hey, I'm a grown up now, and have recently flown to Slovakia to tell jokes to Slovakians so I think I'll be OK using lastminute.com. Also, I have a boyfriend now who delights in doing things well so I am less snappy and unpredictable with my criticism". The stage was set for us to spend a cosy Thursday night in booking the holiday and getting excited.
The first disaster occurred the night before when I arrived in the Cotswolds a mere 24 hours early for a gig and discovered I would not actually be home after all on the Thursday because I would STILL be in the Cotswolds. Never mind, I thought, I'll leave it to the big man at home. He'll book it.
And he did, he booked it. After he'd booked it, he phoned me and asked me where his passport was. This immediately set my heart to a rate previously reserved for when I think I might be in with a chance of getting Peanut Butter Cups. I suggested the most obvious place the passport might be and it turned out it was there. Panic over. Except that the expiry date on the passport was also there. It was simultaneously there and a year ago.
I am now merrily imagining how I will spend 3 days in Prague and then a 3 day road trip from Freuchie in Scotland (don't ask) by myself. I imagine by the end of it I'll have an imaginary friend who encapsulates all the people I love in my life and is with me on holiday because he's hiding from the law after decapitating a guy in Brighton with an expired passport.
Turns out though, if you're willing to pay, you can fix any problem and so Monday saw my hearts desire and my heads bane heading to London to get a new super fast passport so we could jet away into the frosty Czech Republic. What else could go wrong?
Tune in tomorrow for "Oh, fuck, Laura, you're not going to believe this but my driving license has expired too." and other fun stories.