A weekly ode to the joys of moaning about your holiday.
A crucial disclaimer before we get started with today's Travel Bugs: my wife has given me permission to write this. I must say this was quite an unexpected surprise, given I thought she'd have some reservations. She is, after all, letting me reveal what she does at the last minute literally every single time we are trying to get out the door for a weekend away or holiday.
She starts cleaning. And not merely a wipe down of the kitchen bench. No, no, no, we are talking a whipping-out-the-old-toothbrush level of scrubbing at the very moment we are meant to be heading down the driveway.
Whether it's for a flight overseas, a road-trip south to see family or just for a brief staycation, if we are vacating our house for more than a night, my darling wife is overcome by an incontrollable urge to do some industrial-scale cleaning.
Generally it's hard to be annoyed because I find it so funny. The bags will be packed and I'll be loading them into the car and true to form for both of us, we'll be running at least 10 minutes late. So time is ticking. But what's wifey doing? Most recently she was on her hands and knees in a largely futile two-handed body-heave to remove every last trace of dirt from our kitchen drawer handles. All of this because we were going to be away for two nights in Tauranga.
Imagine what it's like when we're leaving for another country. Well, I don't have to, because I've seen it on multiple occasions. Normally it involves a full bathroom clean that begins the exact moment I'm bunging the bags into the boot. I'll come back inside and call out to my darling wife, saying "all right, we're all set", only to find her armed with Exit Mould and rubber gloves.
As to where this urge comes from, I've been told it's a trait that's been passed down from mother to daughter. Personal research tells me there's no correlation of the presence of an incoming house-sitter to the extent of the pre-holiday-departure cleaning. This suggests the impulse is not really about a fear of embarrassment at a non-family member seeing the state of the house and is perhaps more primal in nature.
Fascinating as all of this may be, I only have permission only from my wife and not my mother-in-law for this column so let's quit while I'm only fractionally behind.
Showering in your Jandals at campsites
On a recent motorhome jaunt around the North Island's East Cape we had the pleasure of experiencing some of this country's many beautiful campsites. We loved it, but with a strong recommendation to venture into the campground showers only in the safety of Jandals.
I've never been much of a Jandal-showerer and the sensation was troubling. Forgive me if this is a mental image too far, but I was hit by a sense of panic based on the feeling that I still felt dressed as the water fell over me. If I felt dressed in the shower, what was to stop me absent-mindedly walking back to the motorhome naked with the exception of my wet footwear?
I'd argue this seemingly irrational fear was entirely rational. Indeed, I'd like a show of hands for those who've at some point in their lives accidentally departed a campground shower in their Jandals while still in the nude.
Tim Roxborogh hosts Newstalk ZB's Weekend Collective and blogs at RoxboroghReport.com