Well we’ve made it…got all our luggage in the bags and came in under the weight limit! But not before another three rounds of the various outdoor shops however, to acquire yet more missing ‘essential’ items of expedition kit. Just watch the share price of Rohan, Mountain Warehouse, Blacks, Field&Trek and Millets tumble when we’ve gone!
Another on-going retail saga has been the case of the missing eye-cups. At this year’s Bird Fair in August (you really should go if you have an interest in any aspect of birds) I decided to shed a few pounds (£’s & lb’s) by replacing my old binoculars with the new super-doopa Swarovski EL 8×32 – ultra light-weight and near optical perfection. For a change I thought I’d buy the ones in ‘sand’ rather than the usual green colour, but then noticed that they had silver eye-cups. Now, as any self-respecting birder knows, that’s a bad idea – because it allows light to bounce about inside the eye piece and distract your attention from what you’re looking at. ‘No problem’ said the very helpful Richard on the Swarovski stand, ‘you buy the bins and I’ll send you a replacement pair of black eye-cups’. We shook hands on the deal and I parted with a not inconsiderable sum of money. The binoculars duly arrived from Austria (but not before Prince Charles had given back-word on them, or so the story goes – I guess the colour clashed with Camilla’s Barbour!), complete with silver eye-cups. A single black eye-cup arrived in the post a couple of days later and I texted Richard to express my concern. To cut a very long story short, three weeks and nine eye-cups of differing shapes and sizes later, I finally get my black ones! They fit a treat and no hint of light ‘spillage’. Thanks Richard for the excellent after sales service, I hope I haven’t undermined Swarovski’s marketing strategy, put the ‘Royals’ noses out of joint or exhausted the stock of spare eye-cups! Mind, if you do run short, you know where to find some!
…but not on this occasion!
Anyway I digress…back to the story. The other highlight of the week has been a trip to Dick my barber. Eighty something, still cycles to work and opens for his regulars at ten t’seven of a morning – now that’s service! I take my seat and he commences with ‘my usual’, meanwhile I tell him about our upcoming trip. He then says, in that case he’ll take a bit more off the top. In a scene reminiscent to the ‘Father Ted’ episode where he’s knocking dents out of his new car, Dick continues to take a bit more off the top…., the sides and the back! The result, well judge for yourselves…
…. Oh well, I’m sure it will grow back for the wedding!
We had our last ‘walk through’ with our travelling companions Bob and Sue, on Wednesday night and apart from some very minor tweaks, we’re ready to go! All that remained was to tell the banks and credit card companies of our plans….easier said than done! One of them said that there wasn’t much point in telling them, it made very little difference, but ‘helpfully’ provided an emergency number for use when they put a block on the card….thanks a lot NatWest!
We have a ‘farewell dinner’ with the kids tonight and the taxi arrives at lunch tomorrow to take us to the airport. If all goes well we’ll be back in ‘dear old blighty’ for Christmas. Apologies in advance if you don’t get a card – blame it on the Peruvian postal system!
Bye for now.