Before every trip, there are pre-departure rituals:
Bruno goes off to the countryside…
I know he’ll be taken care of really well. But his absence is acutely felt.
Steal a quick moment with my grown-up daughter.
Pho sure I over ate, and had a marvellous time.
(Pho Oxford Circus, 3 Great Titchfield Street)
Say goodbye to Dumpling.
Begin the metamorphosis into Mrs Chan…
(It takes a village, patience, and a healthy scalp.)
Do laundry, clean flat, solve yesterday’s riddle.
Check on train schedules, tomorrow’s weather (bitterly cold in London, muggy in Singapore, hot in Japan), locate passport.
Dr Chan? I’m bringing your coat, and travel-sized toothpaste. See you on Saturday. Happy Anniversary. Thank you for loving me so much, and sharing the last 20 years of your life, with me. Thank you for your trust, and your friendship. I’m simply, indebted.