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Packing up for island paradise

Excitement is building as I'm heading off on holidays this weekend. I'm lucky enough to be going to Greece for a two-week holiday of island-hopping. After seven months of searching for work last year I'm delighted that all is going well at the moment and I'm looking forward to taking a break and chilling out in the sun.

One of the most exciting things for me about going away is the build-up, that anticipation in the days and weeks before a holiday that really makes it worth waiting for. As I've mentioned before I'm super-organised and an avid list maker, so of course I started with the holiday packing and outfit organising early on.

I spent an afternoon carefully folding clothes into my suitcase, assessing what was already in my wardrobe for a relocation to the heat, unearthing sandals and shorts and the obligatory accessories that are a must for pool-side style. I was sensible with pre-holiday shopping as I have amassed a large amount of holiday wear over the years so the suitcase was bulging -- I just don't get the chance to wear half the stuff at home!

My boyfriend was incredulous when he saw the offending luggage on the bed, clothes bursting through. With a broken handle and no wheels, who, he wondered, did I think was planning on dragging it on and off ferries and around the various islands we have planned on visiting? The case was unpacked, reluctantly, as I agreed I probably didn't need five pairs of high heels when I rarely wear them at all, save for certain outfits where they are a must. I'm more of a flats girl, I admitted. Did I really need three oversized floppy straw hats and five pairs of sunglasses? Probably not.

The thing about holidays, though, is that they offer an escape from our regular lives, and this extends to our wardrobes. It's a chance to play dress-up and imagine oneself as a bronzed beach goddess when the reality is I'll probably come back with a smattering of freckles and parched hair from too much heat.

A smaller bag, accessible but moderately bigger than his rucksack was agreed on and, borrowing from my auntie, I was lucky to downsize on my luggage for free.

Everything is now unpacked and packed again, all ready in the hall for last-minute additions. I might have downsized on the bag but I found it harder to reduce too much of what I'm bringing. However, such are my expert packing skills that I've sneakily hidden my extras in my boyfriend's bag!

All set now for two weeks of no work and all play!