The stresses of the day have passed. In six hours time I will need to get up and get ready for the taxi that takes us to the airport. We are staying overnight in Glasgow and despite being in the middle of Scotland’s largest city, it is surprising quiet. There is a rumble of traffic in the background and the odd plane taking off in the distance but on the whole really quite peaceful. Ok there is somebody now moving around in a flat above me.

It has been a long exhausting day. It started early when I took my daughter to the dentist where everything went smoothly but she did manage to confirm that the next time I visit, our dentist will have retired and a new one will be installed. There is a bit of me that is rather miffed at this, why wasn’t I told? I am not sure I want a complete stranger sticking metal things into my rather stretched mouth and leaning over me. I am tempted to change practise and go to somebody else I know who now happens to be on my road. There is also a part of me that feels a bit bad about not giving the new dentist a chance, it is his fault that the most entertaining dentist in the world has retired.

Next stop was the supermarket to buy some food for the mega triple staged flight we are heading on soon. I can’t say I was really with it but we bought some food and went back home to start the packing ritual. However, I got a phone call. Did I want to go for a bicycle ride? To be honest, I was too tired and stressed to be bothered. Then my friend mentioned that she had just come back from a week’s walking around Mont Blanc with two others of my friends and I knew I needed to make an effort. I hadn’t a clue three of my friends were going on a foreign walking holiday together. I knew I hadn’t seen my usually weekly friends for a while but this seemed ridiculous. I also reasoned that actually the bike ride would probably do my anxiety levels some good. We all need to spent time with others but having ASD does mean that I need to schedule it in to make it happen and recently all schedules have gone to pot.

Bike ride done, I thought I would make use of the resulting tiredness to have a snooze for a bit. Well I ended up laying down in a darkened room trying not to listen to my daughters discussing what clothes and shoes they need to take to Canada. It is so nice to be able to let my eldest give advice to my youngest but I did kinda wish they did it a bit quieter! Then I listened to my eldest search for her passport which thankfully eventually turned up in one of the removal boxes we had brought home at the weekend.

When I got up, I started getting together the piles of clothes that I wanted to take. After folding them all into neat piles I felt I needed a break before culling some of the numbers. I went in search for the other two passports. I found mine where it was supposed to be but there was no sign of my younger daughters one. I thought through when last it was used and initially came to the conclusion that I had it last when I did the transit authorisations online for our Canada trip. If that was the case though it should have been with my passport because they were done at the same time. It had been taken to the German Consult too but searching that documentation revealed nothing. I decided to go back to packing for a bit to see if any background ideas popped out.

I tried to continue packing but unfortunately I couldn’t let go of the fact that we were missing one passport. The anxiety was eroding what flimsy control I had left. I went to my eldest daughter to share my anxiety but after another repeated search came to the conclusion that I needed to check with youngest daughter to see if she had picked the passport up for some reason or if she remembered when she last saw it. I didn’t want to panic her but she seemed okay about it on the surface so I guess she just expects me to fix things.

Going back over my timelines I worked out that actually the German Consult visit took place after the ETA for Canada. This dissolved the responsibility of passport lose from me to my partner but this really didn’t help the situation. Eldest daughter retracted my searching and whilst she did that I stumbled across the passport sitting on my wife’s desk but hidden under her handbag. What a relief I felt but I was also rather exhausted. I took a break and had a combined lunch and breakfast at 4 in the afternoon. Time was running away from me.

Over the next two hours I packed, checked-in online and printed out our boarding passes, did some website work and email in my thoughts about office redesign for the meeting at work I was missing the next day (today). I decided to lie down for half an hour before launching into cooking dinner. My wife came in suggesting somebody else cook and that we should eat before we left for Glasgow rather than eating when we arrived. I was too tired to disagree. I was also not interested in eating. Instead I took the time the others were eating to rip some CDs onto my backup mp3 player so I would have some comfort music on the plane.

We were late leaving but we got the train fine. I was unable to speak as my partner drove us down to the station. I kept repeating the mantra “let it go, just let it go” in my head over the misdemeanours as I judged her style of driving. I was trying not to let the anxiety win. I was unable to say “thank you” when we were dropped off or even look at her. I just needed to buy the train tickets and get to the platform first. I kept it together and once there I was able to message her my thanks.

I sat by myself staring out of the window during most of the hourish long train journey. We were on our way. I tried to feel the anxiety flow out of my body. I still couldn’t sleep though. Nothing more could be done except perhaps rearrange our packing to make the most of the one bag that was going in the hold of the plane. I agreed with my daughter when we suggested we get a taxi to the flat. We have also booked one for the morning too. We brought too much food with us but that has been rationalised now. We seem to be all set. Let’s see if I can make use of some of those five hours left now to actually sleep.

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