Or so Letizia and the girls tell me. Despite my generous (not to say handsome) proboscis, and accompanying nickname of 'Buckbeak', I have all the sense of smell of a shoe. A shoe with a cold. My three fellow-travellers, princesses-on-the-pea every one of them, are blessed with the ability to isolate odours at the twitch of their little button-noses. In fact they can classify and order by date our acquired fragrances over the past three weeks. A 'taste', if you will:
- Sara's jumper still reeks of an unhappy encounter with with cheese and chive Pringles in Beijing.
- Letizia's jacket carries with it the olfactory imprint of Sichuanese cooking since Chengdu.
- Nina, incredibly, has emerged unscathed and untainted, and still smelling of, well, Nina.
I just stink. So no change there, right? Boys, eh?
What really amazes me is that we don't smell more. One of the reasons for this is the very wise investment we made in thermal underwear. Wait - wait - don't hang up! I'm not going to post any pictures, and just forget about the longjohns with flaps in strategic places that you remember from Grizzly Adams. It's all gone upmarket since then.
When Conor Goulding was leaving Ireland for Australia via South America a few months back, he made the mistake of asking me what I thought he should pack. Actually, come to think of it, he may not have asked me, but that has never stopped me giving generously of my wisdom before. 'Thermals' I said. Probably shouted it across the room in a packed lunchtime pub, in fact. 'Essential and easily compressed. Like oxygen.' (Warning: I may be making some of this up as I go along.)
And so it has proven to be. These thermals may not have flaps, but they are anti-bacterial and you would have to eat a lot of fish-flavoured pork to stink them up. And God knows I've tried.
We will have our very own washing machine in Sydney, and the anticipation of this momentous change in living conditions is strongly felt in some quarters of the Lawlor family right now. Three quarters, to be precise. If I'm not very careful I might just find myself gasping for breath in the middle of the 'heavily soiled' program, wishing their were flaps after all.
When we get to Oz, we'll finally be able to reply to comments on our blogs (reminder, Letizia is blogging here and even if you can't read Italian, she's posting a lot more photos than me). So if you've been reading for a while, but not sure about commenting, please do! We really look forward to hearing from you, whether we know you already or not yet.