Life has been crazy this last week since I gave up work, but just as I was in danger of my massive grin causing a new batch of facial creases I have had raging toothache.

I have been packing up the contents of my flat, selling clothes and visiting friends.  Despite having no intention to accumulate stacks of possessions again, it seems that I have managed to collect quite a bit of stuff, with my prized possessions being items bought on my travels.  My lamps bought in the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, art work featuring the whirling dervishes from Turkey, paintings and throws from India and wooden boxes from Egypt, Jordan and Cuba all need to be packed carefully away.

I still have to change my address with some institutions, and I have had my final inoculation against rabies. Oh, and did I mention that I have toothache?  My dentist has given me antibiotics but recommends either root canal work or better still, the removal of the tooth.  He does not recommend me travelling shortly after he does any work but also does not advocate me travelling with the tooth in situ.  Following a traumatic experience with a dentist at the tender age of seven after my sister caused me to fall down some stone steps it was all that I could do to get myself into the surgery, let alone make a decision on what sort of torture I might prefer to opt for, although I eventually agreed that the extraction has to be the better option.

My Kindle is topped up, a new bikini has been bought and a loose travel plan is finally falling into shape. I have had nine separate travel jabs to arm me against some of the nasties which may lurk in the Amazonian jungle, or are more probably to be found in some of the backpackers’ hostels, and I still cannot fathom out how to get my limited pile of necessities into my rucksack.  I also have to buy a new camera, cancel that dratted television license and part with my  car and motorbike

I have just four more sleeps to go.  Four days in which to tie up every loose end and eat up what food I can. A choc-ice for breakfast could catch on but I am not so sure that I can face spaghetti every day.  The antibiotics appear to be working and my jaw is not throbbing quite so much so I have started grinning insanely again.

But enough of this procrastination.  Here is the latest newsflash.  I have just booked my flights to South America.  I fly into Peru in November and I have an open-jaw flight scheduled out of Rio next May (although that element of the journey is subject to change).  Hey, let’s live life on the edge.

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