Do you pack light or take everything but the kitchen sink?

I probably should be actually packing for my upcoming trip to see my friends in Kommetjie in South Africa rather than writing about it but the truth is I'm in such a tizz I can't face the gaping mouth of my suitcase.

I am travelling with my 22 year old son who I believe plans to throw some socks and a hairbrush into his case just before we leave, while I am wondering whether to nip out to buy more old lady knickers to save the embarrassment of having too few for the entire trip which will force me to wash some and hang them out on my friend's washing line.

sock and brush - packing light.

It's a coastal town and I reckon my capacious undies could well be mistaken for billowing sails. I can just about maintain a "scrubs up ok for her age" facade but underneath it's belly warming big girl pants since 7 babies and CS sections destroyed my bikini line and stomach.

I'd really like to avoid anyone apart from my nearest and dearest seeing them. Even though I choose ones with pretty lace and dainty bows but there's no disguising the size!


I've been perusing the weather forecast (well, 4 different weather forecasts) for the region for weeks. I know 15 day forecasts are about as reliable as licking seaweed to check what the weather will be like but still I load them up constantly hoping I will at least see a trend.

The trouble is the part of South Africa we are visiting is very changeable weather-wise at this time of year. So far I have sorted shorts and a bikini along with fleece jumpers and fluffy socks. It's a good job I have a generous weight allowance.

I have at least sorted out which shoes I'm taking - I'm trying to keep it to five pairs.  That's conservative for me. Goretex boots, flip-flops, trainers. Will any of them protect me from the snakes and other bitey, stingy creatures I am convinced will lie in wait at every turn.

I have a terrible "for fear" complex and end up taking almost everything I own for fear I might regret leaving it at home. Am I alone in wanting to have the right coat to go with an outfit? Or the right shoes?

I wish I could be more like my carefree son who has declared if he doesn't have something he discovers he needs he will just buy it. I can't bear the thought of spending over the odds for something I could have got cheaper at home.

Inevitably I will live in three or four outfits for the whole 12 days leaving most of what I have packed untouched but at least I can relax on the plane knowing that whatever the weather or social situations throw at me, I will almost certainly have a suitable outfit. Now where did I put my salopettes?