Holiday packing for Mongrels

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Sitting at my office space last night, I didn’t do much work – my head is already on holiday. I think everyone feels a little bit like that. I look at the screen and see the words I should be writing, but all I can think of is food, and free time, and eventually sun and heat. In an unprecedented move, we are going to Barcelona for Christmas to visit my family (and eat my body weight in prawns) and then to Adelaide to visit the wife’s family (and get a tan, and get all sorts of Port Adelaide gear, and eat my body weight in prawns). We are flying in three days, so no wonder my mind is already there.

We have a friend staying over until Friday morning, and then we will be going crazy about packing and cleaning the house and all that stuff. Yes, I have not packed. I have not even given myself time to think what I want to pack (and I might need to, cause I have a ridiculous baggage allowance this time). We have not decided what bits of the house we are going to leave uncleaned. I have not decided what I want to wear. I don’t own a bikini, so I don’t even have gear to survive Australia (living in Scotland really reduces the amount of summer clothes you buy by 150%). I have not purchased 50 factor sun screen. I don’t own a pair of sunnies. I am still thinking of some Christmas presents and doing absolutely nothing about it. I haven’t yet thought of what I want to visit in Adelaide (other than the aforementioned Port Adelaide store in Alberton). I have no idea of how we are going to spend our days in Spain. I feel I literally know nothing.

Well, not nothing. Important stuff, I happen to know.

I have an appointment to renew my Spanish ID card and I have penned myself for 2 full days of research at the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya, perhaps the most decent library there is in Barcelona, and the source of most of my original sources. Source of sources, yeah. I have been eyeing this book that the wife got me that she thought would be “right up my alley”, Helping doctoral students write by Barbara Kamler and Pat Thomson. So that is in the suitcase. And I have spent the last few hours of my life scanning as many articles as possible and transferring them into my Dropbox so that they are accessible on my tablet, with the typical PhD saying of “just in case”. Which really means “I will have them accessible yet not access them at all and then feel guilty about it”. But it’s always good to have them as back up plan in case mingling with the family gets utterly annoying (“oh sorry, I have some work to do, I can’t play bingo with gran”).

If those feel like some terrible priorities, we have also shortlisted every single sausage joint and churro serving cafeteria between here and Adelaide and that will be the basics of our diet: German hot dogs and Spanish doughnuts.

Fatty foods and the occasional reading. My kind of holiday.

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