About six weeks ago TP and his friends were talking about taking a short break in Europe; a few lads, a cheap flight, a few beers, a wander around a European city and a couple of nights in a hostel sort of adventure.
No decision was reached and, much to TP's frustration, the conversation just ambled on with no dates nor destination being set. He was really keen to travel abroad independently and, in the end, booked his own flight and hostel and spent many hours planning a four day break in Amsterdam. It was very much a case of "If they can't get their shit together, I'm going on my own".
This morning at half past seven I loaded him in to the car and headed off through the rush hour traffic to drop him off at Birmingham airport. As a parent I am thrilled and proud that he has the confidence and independence to head off to explore a new city on his own, but I am also concerned that he will stay safe and have a great time.
Fortunately 30% and I have a number of frolleagues in the Netherlands and I have given TP a couple of numbers just in case he needs help ... it is always nice to have a safety net.
I arrived home from my airport run at nine o'clock and then downed a couple of valium. The need for tranquillisers was nothing to do with parental worries, but the fact that I am a life-long claustrophobe and had an appointment with an MRI scanner at ten thirty this morning.
The MRI scan is part of the attempt to diagnose the problem with my hip and, having had a scan a few years ago, I still have sharp and unpleasant memories of being confined within the narrow tube of the device. I explained this to my Doctor a couple of weeks ago and he was more than happy to provide me with a one-off prescription to ease any anxiety.
30% drove me to and from the appointment and the drugs seemed to do the trick. I didn't feel in any way mentally impaired. I just felt quite tired and I was still unsure of how I would react to the procedure. It was not pleasant, but I tolerated the procedure without full-on fight or flight symptoms. It may have helped that I was fed in to the scanner feet first so my head was barely inside the constricted tube.
Thirty minutes later I was heading home and just felt incredibly tired. I wasn't good for anything more complicated than snoozing on the sofa and eventually I retired to bed to sleep off the valium. I woke late in the afternoon to see that TP had sent a text to advise that all was well, his hostel was great and that he had already made a friend and was heading off to experience Amsterdam night life.
I hope he takes note of the gentle warnings I gave about the strength of the local weed.