Here’s hoping our initial efforts at organisation are not indicative of how well organised (or not) we are going to be throughout the trip.
John W, already proving his organisational skills, arrived at the agreed time, at the agreed location with all the kit that he’d agreed to bring and most importantly with the Campervan. With the patience of a saint, he watched, I suspect with some amusement, if there was any element of frustration, he kept it well hidden as we ‘helped’ him load the van. Suitcases in, suitcases out, bikes on, bikes off. Some two hours or so later we were satisfied the bikes were secure, the luggage was in…..except for bedding (a quick scurry around the house to find suitable supplies), the Go Pro kit (oops), the cake (near disaster averted) and finally all four of The Campervan Clan were in the van.
The Campervan Clan were taking the ‘fun’ option and were driving through France to our starting point on the shores of Lake Geneva. With no more room in the van, Roland and I were taking the ‘easier’ route, courtesy of British Airways and Claire, way more organised than the rest of us was already in Geneva, having taken the ‘training’ route, cycling there from her home in Dorset over the preceding two weeks.
A sense of calm prevailed as we waved the Campervan Clan on their way. Fast forward half an hour and I receive a message from Roland. ‘I’ve messaged John A. but no reply. Do you think they’ve all got their passports?’ A fleeting wry smile, then a horrible realisation that this wouldn’t be the first time! A phone call to John A. confirmed the worst – that his passport was still at home.
Now Parkinson’s doesn’t cope well with time pressure, stress, anxiety, rushing or multi tasking. Driving isn’t easy at the best of times, so driving whilst phoning to discussing directions and meeting points and I knew I hadn’t a hope of getting John’s passport to him in the required time frame.
Huge thanks to Roland for coming to John’s rescue and delivering his passport and to John W. for turning around and returning to meet him. Here’s hoping our start is not indicative of how the rest of our challenge will be.