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The Mom is correct – I do try and keep some clothes at hers for when I come home to visit. It’s just easier. And frankly, the clothes I need in Canada are very different from the ones I need in the UK. In Canada, we have extreme cold in winter, and extreme heat in summer. In the UK, we have rain. So it makes sense to keep my parka and shorts at The Mom’s. Here, they just take up space and I never have any use for them.

And to be honest with you, I don’t tend to buy a lot of keepsakes or souvenirs when I’m on holiday anymore. This is generally because I don’t go anywhere new on holiday. My vacations are spent retracing my steps and visiting one of the many places I’ve called home over the years. Since I’ve lived there, there’s no point in buying anything to remind me of the place. Except when I go to Spain. In Spain I tend to buy shoes.

But I digress. For the most part, my sojourns are fairly easy to pack for: in summer, it’s my swim suit and some sun dresses. If it wouldn’t raise eyebrows at customs, I’d probably just come home for my three-week vacation with a backpack. And in winter, it’s almost the same things: it’s my swim suit and my thickest wool sweaters that make the cut.

Because that’s the other thing The Mom forgets: when she goes on holiday, she’s going somewhere new, and there will be trips to fancy restaurants, or possibly the theatre, and anyhow she likes to impress. Me, I’m going on holiday to rest. I go home to The Mom’s to lie on the couch in front of the fire, or on the back deck in the sun with the parakeet because I am exhausted. There is no need for me to pack nice clothes that would be suitable for touring about the place because I have no intention of going any further than the pool or someone’s apartment.

Generally, I spend the weekend with old friends in London before I go home, so the ‘nice’ or at least, yes, people are okay to be seen with me dressed in this costume that I wear in the city.Said costume is enough to see me through any unforeseen outings that may occur whilst at home. Sure, they get a good wash before I go out in them again but that’s fine.

I read once that Helen Mirren tends not to pack when she goes on holiday. Instead, she takes her essentials, and then rocks up to the local charity shop, gets some clothes, wears them, and then returns them before she’s home again. I think this is an excellent idea, and one I’ve tried to encourage The Mom to embrace. But she insists she’s too tiny to shop in a charity shop. Which is probably true, but still.

I do like the way she’s adopted Crazy D’s attitude towards packing and the hierarchy of things that will go in the case. Crazy D is known for jettisoning things he no longer wants. Not content to just rip a book in half so as to lighten the load, Crazy D , and now The Mom, both appear to be okay with leaving behind just about everything but the clothes on their backs.

I’m tempted to try this the next time Im home but I fear it would lead to me not having anything to wear wherever it is I am.

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