I sat down today knowing it would take a while. But over five hours, I was not expecting.
The countdown to India is actually pootling along quite nicely, despite the rain and red tape, it was only 58 more sleeps to go when we last looked at the calender. We are all starting to talk about the trip a little more, A is imagining the elephants, P can't wait to sleep on a boat in the back waters of Kerala and he is looking forward to having some cookery lessons and trying yoga with the kids. I am anticipating being somewhere totally foreign, where everything is just a little, or maniacally, different to how we know it. I am looking forward to the first smells, the heat, the spices, the towns and cities as well as the rural, national parks where we can pretend to be real life Mowgli's, riding elephants into the jungle. Indiaaaaaah.
Before any journey, there is always the small matter of organisation. The visas are horribly expensive and time consuming to fill in, the five-times photo copied birth certificates, bankers draft (what's that?), letters to the High Commission giving permission for our daughters to come with us. A whole load of unnecessary administration.
"Bet you wish you were staying here now!" the post office guy laughed, when he'd just delivered the information that postal orders didn't come in the amount I was wanting.
I did actually want to cry a little bit, knowing that the visa process was prolonged a little more, meaning a trip to the bank for a bankers draft.
"Absolutely not!" I replied laughing with him at the absurdity of my day, "it will be worth every effort and every penny saved for this trip."
Because we have saved long and hard for this journey. The hall remains unpainted with bare plaster showing since 2010, the kitchen tiles are a lurid green which don't seem too obnoxious any more, the fence and windows are rotten and falling down, the garden is wild and the carpets are stained with cat sick patches. But to us, time and money spent on travelling, tops everything. Even if it does take a whole day to apply for the visas.