Now the kids have returned to school and we're back to endless cycles of laundry and reluctantly not cracking open that bottle of Merlot at 3pm, I have the time to get something off my chest.
I did something monumentally stupid during the holidays which I have to tell you about.
I am usually a very organized person. For those of you who don't know me personally, you'll just have to take my word for it: I'm known for being a meticulous timekeeper, a thorough planner of other people's diaries and an obsessive list writer.
However, I become completely stupid when it comes to booking holidays. I have form in this area.
Let me give you just three examples of what I call 'Selective Stupidity' when it comes to holidays:
1.Years ago, I booked a long weekend to New York with my (then) boyfriend. I packed days in advance and had all the travel documents in a categorized wallet. I organized our transport to Heathrow, so we arrived at the check-in desk early, where the airline clerk asked me for my passport.
She then asked me if I had a valid passport.
"Er, what, I'm sorry, what did you say?"
"I asked if you had a valid passport? This one expired last week."
In those days it was possible to walk into the passport office in Petty France (Central London) and apply for a new passport which was issued on the same day. So that's what we did. We got a black cab (not cheap) to Petty France, applied for the passport (not cheap), waited four hours, got another black cab (not cheap) back to Heathrow and caught the next available flight to New York.
2.Years ago, I booked a holiday to Australia with my (then) boyfriend - yup same one. This time I started packing during (what I thought was) the morning of our flight. In fact, it was the morning after our flight. I got the date wrong.
We rushed to the airport and I tried every trick in the book: we were 24 hours late because we had to go to hospital. No? Err, we were 24 hours late because we had to go to a funeral. No? OK well how much will two new tickets to Melbourne cost? That will be £1000 please.
Expensive. And stupid.
3.Earlier this year, I booked a holiday to Cyprus with my family (well, you didn't expect the boyfriend to stick around did you?). The hubster is no fool so he checks all our travel plans. We decided to drive to Luton airport and leave the car in the long stay car park.
Lovely holiday, very relaxing. Yadda yadda yadda.
Fast forward to the journey home. The Cypriot car taking us to the airport was definitely not going towards the same airport we flew into, better check our tickets. Yup, we're leaving Cyprus from a different airport.
Oh and look at that, we're flying back to Gatwick!
Cue very bloody long journey home, involving cabs, transfer buses and the slowest train in Europe.
I was mortified, wracked with guilt and hugely apologetic about my selective stupidity. The hubster has the patience of a saint, unlike me and thus summed it up beautifully: "well, it could have been worse," he said. "It could have been my fault."
I wrote this for my blog and have had loads of responses from like-minded 'selectively stupid' readers who had some great stories to get off their collective chests. If you'd like to have a read of those and contribute your own story, please visit the blog here.
With love Vx