Well the other day I did it. In a moment that made me feel physically sick with nerves, I transferred a pile of money across to a travel agent and booked two tickets to Ireland.
There were a number of reasons to be nervous. The first: the dogs and the fact that while we have been on holiday with them in WA for the last four years, this year will mean I have to leave them in the hands of a house/ dog sitter, who I am sure will be very capable, but who I have yet to meet.
The second: I am terrified of flying so booking any ticket on anything that is not travelling along the surface of the earth fills me with dread, which brings me to the third: because the trip is in part to celebrate my husband’s birthday and because I heard an interview with Victoria Coren Mitchell (who almost certainly earns more than me because she is an ace poker player) during which she talked about why she always flies business class because she is terrified of flying, I have booked business class tickets.
It was a sobering moment, watching my bank balance collapse like an empty tin can in a vacuum, but because I was already spending a huge amount on tickets, I was reluctant to pay by credit card and incur a penalty which would actually be more or less equivalent to the cost of the insurance for the trip, so I paid by bank transfer.
The deed done, I sat back and looked at Lucy and immediately felt guilty. If we had a bigger family that was not scattered to the four winds, I would feel easier about leaving our dogs, but my parents can not manage them and my two brothers are not in Perth. My only comfort is that they will be in their own home and not kennels. Kennels might be safer, but Lucy would not cope. I am pretty sure Archie would be OK, as he tends to let events roll off his shoulders, but Lucy would fret.
In an attempt to make myself feel better, I visited the airline website. There were a number of videos about the experience of flying business class so I fired them up. They were astonishing: very good looking people wandering dreamily through almost empty airports, being personally greeted as they entered vast premium airport lounges filled with empty armchairs. They floated through the experience in trousers that were just too tight enjoying tiny cups of coffee in exquisite china; at one point the bloke lay in a barber’s chair and got a shave in between flights from a barber with a cut throat razor. This made me slightly jealous: I wanted a shave, why couldn’t I grow a beard, dammit? Perhaps they could do my armpits?
Feeling like I needed to get back down to earth, I headed to Spudshed, which has a remarkable ability to ground anyone feeling like they are trapped in a Duran Duran video. I bought my stuff and ventured back into the car park. Towards the back against a fence was a car whose wheels had been removed and whose lights were gone. It looked both blind and crippled. If that was not weird enough, a man then crossed my path walking two blonde wolves on leads. It was hard not to look around for the camera that was filming the latest Clash video.
That is just me, then living the life in the fold of a gatefold, all real from the 80s, like MTV.