I should rephrase that... What are your non-essential items, but that you can't live without?
I've never thought to ask myself this question before. I've always been quite resourceful and haven't thought that I've ever really NEEDED anything in particular... apart from my life saving medications and lip salve. Who on earth can survive without moisturised lips! When I've travelled in the past, I've been a light packer, managing to survive on basics and finding what I needed the other end, whether it's visiting a city in western Europe or a third world country. But as I get older I seem to pack more and more and more stuff when I go away, even for the weekend. I spread everything out on the bed, make lists, tick things off lists... but to my surprise, my pile of non-essential items seems to grow with every trip.
Yesterday, I was delivered an item I would never have imagined existed, until I found it on the internet! That in itself sounds incredibly dodgy but don't worry, gentle folk, it is not x-rated, illegal or deviant in any way. However, its quite hard to describe in a few words. But having used it last night, all night, I woke up to such miraculous results that I will never leave home without it. But more of that later.
When I visited my parents last weekend, I realised I had packed things that others would think highly unnecessary. My non-essential items included:
Ear Plugs. Even in deepest, darkest Hampshire, surrounded by the dulcet tones of the occasional owl hoot or cow moo, the whistling of wind through trees or rain on leaves... you still cannot block out the sound of two parents snoring, or the sound of creaking floorboards as aforementioned parents also go to the loo five times a night. Ear plugs are at the top of my non-essential item list, especially when visiting unknown destinations where you discover your carefully chosen hotel room is, in fact, overlooking the night market or local discotheque!
A very close second is my hot water bottle. I simply cannot live without it. I have terribly cold feet... a bizarrely hot body (well, thank you Sir) but bloody freezing tootsies. There is nothing worse than trying to go to sleep when you can't feel your extremities. I've even been known to use it in summer!
Olbas Oil. Again, this is an odd item because it is usually associated with colds and flu, but I just love the smell... I think it stems from childhood when I always seemed to have catarrh or allergies and would sleep through the night with the help of Vics vapour rub having been rubbed vigorously into my chest. I then discovered Olbas Oil and with just a few drops on the pillow, I would be deeply relaxed. Weird I know but that little bottle of delight now comes with me every time I go away.
Make-up. No need for any explanation here.
Toiletries. Now again, I used to make do with shampoo and moisturiser. That was it! Now my make-up and toiletries bag is almost the same size as my carry-on case...! For men out there of a sensitive nature, who like the allure of a woman to be mysterious... look away now. My contents are as follows: Body scrub, exfoliator, razor, shower gel, face mask, shampoo, conditioner, hair treatment, hair dryer, hairspray, shine serum, make-up remover, cotton wool pads, cotton wool buds, toner, flannel, baby soap, face serum, day moisturiser, night cream, body milk, tweezers, hair brush, eye lash curlers, hand cream, vaseline, nail clippers, foot buffer, nail file, nail varnish and breathe.... nail varnish remover. And you thought it was all natural... you sweet things. It takes a lot of work to look this natural!
So now that brings me back to my purchase from the internet. The one thing you cannot stop or reverse with creams and potions, good sleep, great diet and good exercise is getting older and getting wrinkles. Unless of course you have the money for surgery, but to be honest, I would rather look like a crumpled pillow than be stretched out of all recognition. However, every morning for the last few years, I have looked in the mirror after waking, and to my dismay I have noticed not only a few crows feet and laughter lines but an increase in chest creases. Haha... men will not have an iota of what I am talking about unless you have man boobs. Skinny or flat chested women will not have a clue either, for that matter. It happens to women of a certain age that have a fairly ample bosom and that sleep on their sides. You sort of squeeze everything together in your sleep and awake unable to iron them out. They do tend to disappear after a few hours but as you get older, I am told, they become permanent and your décolletage is no longer this beautiful smooth area dying to be smooched but a sort of crepey area.... ooh no!!
So, with such an immense problem as this, weighing heavily on my shoulders, I turned to the experts... Google. Google came back with a very popular solution. Sleep on your back! Well that's all fine and dandy but if I was able to sleep on my back I would have done so by now. I just cant do it. The last few nights I have started off well, shoving one pillow under my knees and two either side of me to stop myself from rolling over but after about 30 minutes I have to go on my side. I went back onto Google and suddenly found a website offering a new product that was so weird I thought it must be a spoof. This product is called the Decolette. It is a triangular piece of clear silicone measuring about 7 inches across and 4 inches deep. It is about 3 millimetres thick. You peel off the backing protection and you adhere this piece of silicone to the space in between, and above, your boobage. I swear to God, I am not kidding. It was delivered yesterday and when I opened it, I made a loud derogative "phfffffff" noise as I realised I had clearly been conned and had just paid a man called Olaf in Bulgaria £20 for a piece of sticky plastic. But no. I was wrong. This morning, verging on hysteria, I tiptoed into my bathroom and removed the plastic from my cleavage and there is was... smooth and clear as a twenty year old's, no lines, or wrinkles or crease marks. I giggled and kept staring for a good few minutes. It's a miracle I shouted.
I know for a fact, as soon as some of my friends finish reading that last sentence I will have a few requests for information. Until then I'm thinking about buying ten of these triangles and sticking them all over my body!! Why stop at the chest!