Preparing to take time off from the parish is a fairly arduous task, if you are obsessed, as I am, that things will run perfectly when you are not here! Of course everything is going to be just fine, but I check and double check, and drive folk crazy as I repeat instruction after instruction, fifteen times over. "And remember to.... "
Personal preparation is much less intense. I tend to be a pack-ten-minutes-before-we-leave sort of guy, which drives the RW a little crazy too. I have little room for clothes anyway, as the case is half full of pencils, pens, erasers, dictionaries etc etc, and some football tops for the boys in the village. Two personal requests this time too.... a box of Basilica incense and haggis! Whether the haggis is allowed through customs or not will be interesting, as we don't have a pet passport for the wee thing.
So, having been run off my wee feet for the last week, I'm looking forward to seeing the kids at our school, and haggling wage rises, terms and conditions with the teaching staff. This usually takes about five days!
At least our kids in The Gambia are creative. Hallowe'en in the Rectory didn't happen! Nobody came to the door, and the RW was tempted to eat all the goodies herself. This is different, it seems, in douce Helensburgh, where my friend Big Rab had a procession of guysers at the door telling jokes. They are articulate in Helensburgh.
"What's invisible and smells of carrots? - A rabbit's fart!"
"What do you call a Spanish footballer with no legs? - Grassy ass!"
"What does the devil keep between his legs? - Great balls of fire!"
The average age of the comedians was about eight.