Ready to ‘pack’ in the pre-holiday cleaning

May 30th, 2023 3:15 PM

By Emma Connolly

High dusting, low dusting and polishing everything that moves! (Photo: Shutterstock)

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I’m one of those nutters who has to literally hoover herself out the door if I’m even going away for a long weekend. It’s just the way I’m wired and I’m exhausted from it ... send help, or maybe just more dusters!

ANYONE else go ‘next level’ crazy before holidays?

Just me so then. I readily admit to displaying standard levels of day-to-day craziness, but in the run-up to ‘The Holidays’ it definitely ramps up a level, or 10. It’s like something in my brain feels that every last single thing in my life (and possibly yours too) has to be resolved (and tidied. And folded. And put away) before departure.

I’m not talking the usual stuff like emptying the fridge or the bins. That’s basic. I’m talking about defrosting the freezer and power washing the wheelie bins (and the driveway while I’m at it).

Also in no particular order: weeding the garden, clearing out the attic, tidying the garage, taking a moment (just a short one mind you as the clock is ticking) to assess my life choices to date, printing all the photos on my phone and getting some framed, categorising my books by colour (or maybe by genre?), researching colleges for my kid, trying (and failing) to figure out my pension, doing up a new CV, trying to write the first chapter of that book I’ve been talking about for the last 10 years, or at the very least jotting down some plot ideas ... and hopefully having enough time left for a pedicure.

Yes, it’s as exhausting as it sounds.

And then it’s on to ‘The Packing.’ I tend to struggle a bit with that too. Shocker!

I think it comes down to my ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ mentality. So while some people might toss a t-shirt and a toothbrush into a carry-on bag and take their chances, I come at it from an angle of ‘you’d just never know.’ As in ‘you’d just never know what the weather could be like,’ so it’s best to have options in case it’s a bit cool/wet/windy/muggy/roasting/draughty/snowy (what? Climate change has mixed the seasons right up).

That takes up a lot of suitcase space as you might imagine.

There’s also the whole ‘you’d never know who we might meet’ mentality which sees me contemplate a ball gown (or two) in case you might cross paths with royalty, or Beyoncé, and end up at a party on her yacht and get papped for Hello magazine (what? It happened to my friend before, not Beyoncé, but some soccer player and she was raging as she only had a maxi dress with her).

Also you never know what way your tummy will behave so there’s all those remedies to have to hand, and of course the Barry’s tea. And a bit of Persil (sure you’d have to do at least one wash). As we’re flying (not driving) I’m facing some very tough choices this week: my own pillow or an Aran jumper; my wetsuit or the teapot. Oh my nerves are shot.

On the flipside, it’s great if you’re travelling with me as I can be relied on to have anything from a safety pin to a compass, paper clip to a hot water bottle (MacGyver had nothing on me). I do, however, find myself looking enviously at those mainland European ladies who tend to glide through the airport dressed in white or beige, with a feather-light bag (usually a mini Longchamp), containing just their lipstick and boarding pass

Instead I’m that frazzled, sweaty person weighed down with a bulging bag that won’t zip-up (containing a spare outfit for everyone and togs, in case the luggage is lost ... you’d never know!). It is indeed a heavy load – physically and mentally – for one person to carry.

Anyway, I’m currently at the stage where I’m thinking it would actually be more relax- ing to stay at home (especially as I’m at a breakthrough point with the cleaning and the house is looking more appealing than usual). Sure we’re only going away for the water slides and they have them in Trabolgan and Tralee don’t they? I suppose I’ll power (wash) through, and anyway, the good news is that once we get over the county bounds or into another time zone I generally tend to let it all go.

Until then I’m a bit of a nightmare. If anyone wants to come help with the weeding I won’t say no!

What was also a nightmare was the awful allergies I got hit over the head with this week. I think it might have been to do with the fact that silage season is well underway. It was as if someone poured a load of concrete into my head and nose, which also turned into a dripping tap. Breathing was pretty impossible, and it was hard not to make very unattractive snorting noises (apologies to family, friends and colleagues). Actually, that reminds me I need to add antihistamines to the holiday first aid kit, which probably needs its own ticket or seat at this stage.

Anyway, in case you hadn’t already noticed, you won’t get anywhere in a hurry in West Cork for a while what with the volume of tractors and machinery on the roads so make sure to give yourself extra travel time and sit back and enjoy the radio or a podcast. But do keep the windows closed unless you want to suffer like me.

I barely had a minute to digest the news that Patrick Kielty is the new Late Late Show presenter, but I very much approve.


So how do we feel about Patrick Kielty taking over from Tubs on The Late Late Show? I think he’s a good, solid choice and I’m looking forward to seeing him in the hot seat. Let’s go in with an open mind... for the first show anyway.

As for Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on ITV’s This Morning? Just shows, you never can tell what’s going on behind the scenes, can you?

Keeping up that level of chumminess must have been more exhausting than me getting ready for the holidays!

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