Since last month, I had not travelled on a plane for many years. So many years, that I had no idea that nowadays it's necessary to pay for such luxuries as water, food and putting more than about 3lbs of luggage onto the plane. I won't bore you with the tedium of the protracted discussion I had with the lady at East Midlands Airport regarding my contact lens solution, during which I offered to drip some of it into my eye, to prove to her that it was not explosive in any way. The shock of not getting a quite horrible, but extremely exciting tray of unidentifiable, plasticky-tasting foodstuffs was bad enough. The "hand-luggage" only thing was the real shocker.
Consequently, on our family holiday that we've just returned from, we had space for four changes of clothes each (luckily there were washing facilities), toileteries (but only in tiny bottles, obv), and two books each for the children (plus a pad of plain paper and pens). I chose, it has to be said, badly. I wouldn't let A take Lola Rose by her fave Jacqueline Wilson, because I thought she would read it too quickly, and then have nothing to read. I packed Diary of a Parent Trainer by Jenny Smith instead, which I thought looked her cup of tea, but she thought was boring, and therefore she had nothing to read. For C I picked How to Build an Abonimable Snowman by Dominic Barker, which he promptly decided was "too long", and he wouldn't read his either! I also packed their current bedtime stories (Beast Quest 14 for C and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for A), but due to the late nights we had in Spain, we ended up just putting them to bed when they dropped, without a bedtime story.
We had a wonderful time, and I would not have wanted to change the lovely, sun-drenched evenings, but I have to say, when C and I snuggled up for a couple of chapters of Tom and Ellena's latest exploits, I truly felt at home again. Bed time just isn't quite bed time without a story.