October sun

The rain has arrived. The grey clouds have made the cottage feel dark.
The Camellias, outside the door have rainwater dripping off their leaves.
All day, drip, drip, drip.
The heater is on in the bath room.
I have been hugging a hot water bottle and wearing thick woollen socks.
I have been drinking hot soup and dreaming of sunshine and warmth.
1.00 a.m on Thursday 15th.
I’ve packed a small red case.
1 black swimming costume.
1 red bikini
1 patterned bikini.
The patterned one is so old it looks like those Airtex knickers we wore in the 60’s, the ones that stretched out of shape.
The red one was bought in 2010 when I cashed in my pension to get us out to Costa Rica. I had lost loads of weight – due to the end of GFL – and had bought the red bikini as a testament to my new body. Whilst sunning myself on the terrace, the hammock swinging in the breeze, the palm trees swaying, the howler monkeys howling, the old git looked at me and said.
‘I don’t know who you remind me of.’
I thought it must be Ursula Andress walking out of the waves towards 007.
‘I know.’ he said. I waited…..
‘Who?’ I nudged.
He called me Goosey for the rest of the trip.
So I’m taking Airtex, Ghandi and a black swimming costume that is tighter than a tight pair of Spandex. I should care it’s just me and the dawter overlooking the Atlantic and dodging the hailstones. I understand the Jet Stream is splitting in two and one fingerling is heading straight for the Belariacs.
I have packed my writing notebook, a reading book, a phone charger, a pair of shorts and three other items. I have a plastic bag with my questionable bottles and a little bag with remedies for hangovers, sickness and panic attacks……

The idea for the holiday came after a trip to the homeopath. My broken arm, my rusty back, my lack of exercise, my ridiculous schedule, my need for sun;
‘Go Away’ she urged.
And by that she didn’t mean make way for her next patient.
‘Go away’ she reiterated.
I arrived home, looked at the old git who without any hesitation said,
‘Yes please go away.’
Credit cards at the ready, Lucy from Australia did the leg work. The location, the flights, the hotel, all was ticket-y boo until the airline informed Lucy that the seats had all been taken.
Back to the drawing board. Credit cards at the ready Lucy found us a room with a balcony and sea view, in a more costly hotel but it meant we would get that week in the sun.
Fortuitously the dawter had taken a week out of her life and our dates coincided. The ‘oosbind has gone back to the Arcola for the second leg of his play. Every body has everything crossed that they get a transfer to the West End, which will enable us to pay off the credit card.
So my little red bag is packed, the dawter is driving back, from London, as we speak, and this time tomorrow we will be sitting on our balcony coating ourselves with mosquito spray, listening to the waves and willing the predicted thunderstorms and torrential rain to bugger off.