Getting ready (Feb. 2017)


[this looks so much better on my site]

  • Consolidate all necessary paperwork (tickets, visas, vouchers) into robust fiche to be carried on person at all times.
  • Hair, beard and other facial hair to approximate that of passport photo.
  • Duplicate door keys (front and rear).
  • Re-read Homer and ponder Odysseus’ seventeen-year journey home after the Trojan war.
  • Check tyre pressure, particularly offside rear.
  • Master six useful Spanish phrases:
    • What time is it? ¿Qué hora es?
    • It’s early: Es temprano
    • Go back to sleep: Acuéstese y volver a dormir
    • This lady will pay for everything: Esta dama pagará todo
    • and so on.
  • Purchases: hat (crushable), charcoal colour.
  • Master street photography to capture vivid blues in Essaouira, deep ochres of Sahara and green lawns of El Retiro in Madrid in anticipation of daily photographic postings and entertaining slideshow/dinner parties post-return.
  • Disable Microsoft spell checker on all poetics.
  • Organise automatic payment for expected invoices.
  • Swim twenty laps daily until embarkation; run 1.5 kilometres daily until embarkation; complete daily bracing callisthenics program until embarkation.
  • Reduce saturated fats in diet and practice abstaining from alcohol for longer and longer periods.
  • Read all relevant travel advisories and subscribe to English language news feeds.
  • Update will, advise executors and subscribe to go-fund-me campaign (just in case).
  • Grasp recent history of Morocco (last 20 years or so), the heroic anti-colonial efforts of the Berber people as well as the socio-political reforms of current head of state King Mohammed VI.
  • Purchases: appropriate winter clothing (crushable and compact); appropriate summer clothing (breezy and cheerful).
  • Ensure supply of benzodiazepines (for plane), anti-diarrhoeals, sunscreen, lip balm, paracetamol, ibuprofen, anti-histamines, bottled water, sterile gauze swabs (1 pack, assorted sizes), compression bandages, syringes and surgical implements (mixed).
  • Complete first aid course.
  • Complete breathing underwater course.
  • Review locations of consulates, major hospitals and first aid posts vis-a-vis daily itinerary.
  • Interview potential house-sitters, check bona fides and quiz referees for any conflicts of interest.
  • Redirect mail.
  • Pack three shirts – one grey, one black, one white.
  • Prepare list of daily questions for tour guide during bus trip into desert.
  • Order DVD of Flight of the Phoenix (1965) starring James Stewart, Richard Attenborough and Hardy Kruger.
  • Become familiar with process for extracting water from a bucket and plastic sheet laid over the sand while resting during the heat of the day.
  • Get ready.


Image – Mirage of the desert, Popular Science Monthly Volume 5 (1874)
You may also enjoy…To-Do List by Simon Armitage, New Yorker, Jan 5, 2015



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