Things I will never do again


Things I will never do again

February 4, 2012 Stories 0

Things I will never do again

Smoke cigarettes, drink bourbon and eat Caramello Koalas. I guess I have indulged in all three to attain some kind of pain relief. Most people take a holiday, so I will try that this year.

Unfortunately I have to take the Caramello Koalas on holiday with me, attached as they are to my waistline. No doubt I will have trouble getting them to leave. Like an unwanted guest.

How many things in life go according to the plan? I have had a wonderful life so far and I know I have been blessed.  None of those blessings came from any plan. My holiday plans went a bit wobbly as did the six other holidays I have had in my adult lifetime. I’m yet to work out whether I am not big on holidays or just not big on planning? Hmm … something to think about there, into my minds wardrobe that thought goes.

I travelled interstate and hired a car for the first few days. On the last day of having the hire car, I locked the keys in the boot of the hire car. I am a member of my State’s Roadside Assistance organisation. However, because it was a hire car, the associated RAC group interstate, would not help me. The hire car company could arrange to put spare keys in a taxi for me, from about 100 kilometres away. I would be paying for the taxi. Somehow that did not seem the best option. I put my thinking cap on, which took me a while to find as I was in my holiday lost mind mode. I was with my son who seemed to be taking it all in his stride. I had taught him well to go with the flow, this much I was pleased with.

Together, my son and I choose to contact a locksmith. Being so close to Christmas all the locksmiths were busy. I was not the only one with a missing thinking cap. We had no other choice but to wait. The locksmith said he would be about an hour and a half and would phone me when he was on his way. My son and I decided to go off in search of some food and drink. Just as we sat down to eat, the locksmith phoned. We picked up our lunches and run back to the car as the locksmith was then only five minutes away. Oh Joy. The extra compulsory ‘mother and son’ time was indeed worth the cost of the locksmith as we ate our lunch on the bonnet of the hire car saying “A day to remember hey”.

The next morning, still feeling somewhat shattered, other things had also happened yesterday, as they do. I pick myself up, take a deep, deep breath and prepare to start a new day.

I think that going on holiday is just living my life at another location for that particular moment. I was looking forward to the mental rest that comes with ‘being on holiday’. I felt exhausted and knew I needed to recharge before I had a mental melt down.  I say I was in lost mind mode but really I had locked my whole brain away somewhere for the duration of the holiday, on purpose.

As a child, we mostly went on an annual family holiday from Brisbane to Sydney to be with family there. I only remember taking one other holiday as a child, my memory is looking at a big very old tent. A storm started in the night and my mother started fretting, she did not like storms. When dad wasn’t home, mum would put us under the kitchen table when there was lightning and thunder. Yeah, yeah, weird I know. So in a tent, she was unravelling at top speed. Dad’s decision was that we were simply going to pack up and go home. It was dark. I lost my doll that night and I never forgot that I lost my doll.

Because of my dire need to rest on this holiday, I do.

I would like to think that everyday can be a holiday for me as I am usually a happy-go-lucky person. It does not matter so much to me where I am. What matters to me is that I am happy. Regardless of where I am. Being on holiday or being at home is much the same to me. I am more likely to lock the keys in the boot if using someone else’s car. In my wonderful car the boot does not lock without the central locking, which requires the keys. It’s a clever car and it knows me well. These things happen to me regardless of where I am, so I am as relaxed about living at my son’s as I am at home.

As for the latest in GPS – if I hear the word ‘recalculating’ anytime soon after this ‘driving in the big city’ holiday, I will scream. I am not good at judging distances and the voice tells me turn right in 500 metres as I go sailing past that turn. I am sure I started to hear a sigh (or perhaps that was me sighing), as the voice says “recalculating” for the eighteenth time. The first time was funny, then it became annoying. It took some sweat and tears to get to my destinations. After returning the hire care I used my son’s car, it had a GPS as well. One day on my own I wanted to go a short distance to shop. I love to shop. I spent half the day finding my way back to his place. So much for a quick trip out! When I left for my short distance shopping centre venture, I loved my sons GPS. He had programmed it all up. It got me to the shopping centre quickly and without drama and then all I had to do was press the ‘home’ button – too easy. If only I had trusted it. It took a long time to speak. I figured it was warming up. I had started driving and was at a pivoting moment of decision making. ‘Oh, which motorway was it?’ The machine was not speaking, the cars were all around me and before long I found myself committed to one motorway. Then I realised I had taken the wrong one. I got off the motorway and that’s when the real fun began. The turning and weaving – I wished I had never left the house!

In no time at all, I was in such a mess that I had to lean forward to hear the voice and found myself talking to it, “What? Which way?!” I was meant to take the car out the next day as well, but after my most recent experience, it was a better choice to ask for a lift, particularly when I felt myself sweating just at the very thought of the GPS. So I asked nicely and sure enough my son was happy to drop me off and pick me up again. I don’t visit often so it is all doable.

When on holiday, I always seem to buy more than my suitcase can carry so I post stuff home on day 3. I am away for 18 days. Imagine the post office box at home.

During this holiday there were moments when the voice in my head said, ‘I won’t be doing this again’, which made me think about the shortlist I have on ‘won’t be doing this again ‘  I will never smoke cigarettes, drink bourbon or eat Caramello Koalas.

I am sure I will be able to go on holidays again, even use a GPS. I know I cannot add locking keys in boot of a car to my ‘things I will never do again’ list as it is highly likely that I will do that again.

A week after I return home, my friends Michele and Wayne arrive in Tassie and hired a car. Travelling around a few days later, we chat on the telephone about how their trip is going. In another few days, I get a telephone call blaming me. Michele has locked the keys to their hire car in the boot! A few days after the phone call from Michele, my son sends me a text to say he had friends staying at his place who had just locked their keys in a hire car boot! We swap stories and he says we have started a craze.

Copyright © Mary Willetts 2012


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