Wednesday, October 28, 2009

T-Minus 34H:59M:59S

As I'm leaving on Friday morning to spend the winter in Florida (where it's 92F right now and as humid as all hell), I would normally start packing tomorrow afternoon. After all these years, I've created a pretty comprehensive checklist and if I tick off every item on it, then I'm always 'good to go'.

It's not just a 'what to pack' list. Oh no. When you leave for 6 months, you have a few more things you need to do before locking up and hiding the key under the stone by the door. The stone marked 'Door Key Below - Do Not Remove.'

Just think of all the services you need to ask to be suspended or shut down or if you've paid for a year of cover, to try and get a refund. - gas appliance insurance, car insurance, car breakdown cover, tv licence, road fund licence, cable tv, internet, phone and so on. You need to inform your bank so when you use your cards abroad, they're not blocked after the first purchase. You need to collect proof that you're going to return to the UK in order to keep US Immigration happy and that's no easy task.

All this is on top of sorting out the electricity, gas and water so that the house doesn't burn down, blow up or get flooded over the winter.

It could all be very stressful but like I said, I have my trusty checklist with policy numbers, phone numbers and basically what to do for every service. Sorted.

One extra chore I have to deal with is taking a 6 month supply of my medication with me and that little task used to present quite a problem, I can tell you. Well I just have, so there. Doctors aren't keen on giving you a prescription for 2 months supply, never mind 6 months. Thankfully my going to America for the winter coincided with a VERY helpful pharmacist taking over the practice across from my docs and every year at this time, he just gives me as many drugs as I need.

Some are even prescribed for me !! Only joking, officer.

So I've just opened all the boxes in order to save space in my carry on case as there is NO way I'm risking those pills in my checked luggage. Those pills are my life, literally, and I'm not prepared to have them turn up in Azerbaijan or Bora Bora on Friday evening. This often means my case is opened at the security checkpoint as the x-ray machine flags up that I'm possibly a Columbian mule.

Here are the empty boxes I threw on the floor as I went along........



So you can imagine what my case looks like with well over 1,000 pills in it. Thankfully they don't weigh much so there is still room for my other absolute necessity and one that also can't be risked in my checked luggage.

Yes of course, my laptop !!

The very thought of 6 hours without t'internet, never mind 6 months, is enough to bring me out in a sweat - and that's before hitting the Florida humidity.

Anyway this will be my last post (no trumpets please, it's an old joke) until I'm on US soil, unless those nice Immigration people don't believe my drug story and send me back.

To be continued........

8 comments:

Milo said...

Exciting times. Bon voyage!

Lisa said...

Have a good flight!

rhymeswithplague said...

The welcome committee awaits you. Sadly, we are scattered around the country. But we will have a virtual parade in your honor.

Daphne said...

So all you've got to do now is write the notice for by your letterbox - "Please don't leave junk mail. I'm away for six months." Sorted.
And I hope you'll have a wonderful time.

Punctuation said...

So to recap: you take enough pills to kill the entire population of Florida twice-over and Christmas crackers with just enough combustible material in them to trigger the automated bad-guy-baggage sniffing machines.

You must like body searches cross-looking border guards. :-)

Debby said...

Houston we have no problem.

L minus 34:30 and counting.

Jennyta said...

Oh, we're coming over to your neck of the woods (ish) to see Paul tomorrow. Never mind, we'll wave to you up there in the sky. Safe journey. :)

Jay said...

Ha. You're only going cos we just got back, I know. :(

Just kidding.

I thought you had to transport your pills in the packages they came in - how do you get away with emptying the out? I stuffed all of mine into one packet (not so difficult since there's always empty space in them) and put them in my hand luggage. No, I'm not risking them in the checked luggage either, but OH does. I think if I were going for six months, I'd take a months' supply in my carry on and check the rest. At least you can buy some of what I need OTC over there. The rest, I'd just have to buy, I guess.

Have a good flight!!

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