After a fairly manic week at work, I’m now starting to feel distinctly demob happy.
I spent a rather large portion of the weekend scouring the Time Out guide to Venice and pouring over pictures of the city in another book and online.
As the date for departure nears, it seems ever more of a fairytale place; not quite of this world. And it is increasingly – rather than decreasingly – difficult for me to imagine myself there.
I’m rather surprised at the size of the place – or the lack of it. According to the maps, it’s actually far smaller than I’d ever realised – although you can bet your bottom dollar it’ll still take some time to get use to navigating around.
I am almost ready – well at least I’ve now got everything together for my evening attire on the Orient Express itself.
To complement the £15 M&S dress – long, black, sleeveless and simple – I got a bolero shrug in black lace from ebay for £16 and some Van Dal slingback courts with kitten heels in black patent leather. Then a pair of knot gold earrings and a Swarovski ring to go with the cuff I got a few weeks ago.
I am now of the opinion that nobody – but nobody – will notice the dress itself at all: they’ll simply be blinded by all the bling. I could almost be hypnotised myself by the ring – it catches the light beautifully. The Other Half looked at it, rolled his eyes, and made some snide comment about bling. But who cares? If you look at the sort of things that Tiffany produces, it's just very expensive bling, with actual jewels instead of crystals. The use of 'bling' in a derisive tone is simply snobbery.
The hair has been chopped right back, coloured a rich teaky sort of shade (which also covers all the grey) and styled. I have – miracle of miracles – persuaded The Other Half to actually got to a proper hairdresser tomorrow instead of his usual £6 barber (who does a decent enough job – but never seems to get the crown right).
He has taken to saying things in Italian, making the very most of really rolling every ‘r’.
He will collect his suit tomorrow – and our cat sitter is popping round to collect the keys and meet Otto and Loki on Wednesday evening.
Actually, that’s my biggest concern – how they’ll do with us disappearing for a week. Fortunately, they’ve seen both of us come and go individually for anything from a night to a week since their arrival. And when we’re away, I will miss the cats.
Amazingly, Boudicca is spending more and more time playing with the kittens – although she’s giving off some extraordinarily confused signals: she seems to think that hissing and growling are part of play as well as being genuinely cross.
But she’s now chasing with Otto as well as Loki – and has also been seen to do that sort of high five jumping in the air with each of the kittens.
So they should be able to cope – at least she won’t now be on her own for any length of time. She might still grumble about the kittens, but the lack of boredom behaviour for the last few months is evidence, were any needed, that she really did need some feline interaction.