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If ever there is a time to pack a bag, it is now.

Lockdown be gone because I need to get away. And it’s not that I don’t love my family, but I want to get away with my mates. It doesn’t have to be glamorous; a cheap Airbnb will do (although I draw the line at a tent – chiropractors don’t come cheap).

A ‘nip-trip’ is what I need. And by nip, I don’t mean dealing with the increasing number of chins that have loomed up at me from Zoom. No, I want us to get out in the fresh air where we can relax, soak up the ambience and take photos to make us look windswept and interesting.

20 years ago, I met three mums in a chilly school playground. On a daily basis, we tiredly waved our little boys off to the classroom before they emerged again six hours later, running full pelt towards us, their grubby faces smiling and their sticky hands clutching sticky things, splashing through puddles like they weren’t even there.

We formed a friendship that flourished beyond the school gates and stood the test of time. As our boys grew up, we moved from having the odd ‘cheeky curry’ to a regular ‘cheeky weekend away’, making the most of our local airport with its bevvy of destinations on offer; cities full of history, culture and fabulous architecture.

Being a group of women (i.e. not children or men) meant there was no moaning and nobody got hangry. It didn’t matter if it drizzled, we’d just hop into the nearest bar for fruit wine and pistachio nuts that cost just a few euros. A supposed 90-minute walk might take us 4 hours because there were shops along the way and nobody to shout at us while we tried things on.

It’s time to make some more memories to add to the plethora of highlights so far: zipping about the town on a segway; having a Sancerre moment to accompany a bowl of pomme frites; eating hot bacon rolls on a barge in the Black Country; stumbling upon an Irish bar for a quick pint of Guinness; sitting on a stone wall listening to bagpipes; lusting after waiters young enough to be our sons; eating chocolate & chantilly crepes for lunch; falling out of a Cuban nightclub in the early hours; popping out for a pre-dinner cocktail and not coming home until the bar shut.

We may not be millennials, but after such a long gap, maybe someone should alert the authorities we’re going back on the road. It may not be abroad but please, let’s hurry up and let the shenanigans begin!