I can tell it's getting closer to D (for Departure) Day because I've started fussing about clothes. It's simple, really, but I have to get it into my head. The cruise company is offering to pick up and ship two extra pieces of luggage, over and above what the airline allows, and deposit them in my cabin - ahead of time, of course. That's all very well but where are the two or more extra drawers I'll need in the cabin to store the stuff? I do like the thought, though, because my carry-on bag will carry my papers and planning and diary and a toothbrush and a nightie, and clean underwear. Oh, but I'll need something festive (a scarf?) because there's a farewell party before embarkation and all my clothes will be in the cabin in the ahead-of-time bag. When I went to Saskatchewan last year for a month of writing at Stegner House I carried on all the plans and papers and notes for my book plus a nightie and toothbrush, etc., and shipped my clothes in cargo, picked up when I arrived. I must admit I forgot quite a number of clothes but it didn't matter because no one saw me. I'm used to looking like Li'l Orphan Annie (that's an obscure reference that younger people will not get). However, this time it's a luxury cruise so I have to look presentable if not elegant. I'll have to think about that.
I know of two women who coped well with necessity. One was my cousin's Aunt Bara. She was a nurse and loved to travel and spent all her money on that. But she always had one good black dress and a string of pearls (and good shoes?). Apparently, to all reports, I mean, she always looked elegant. The other one was the actress, Judith Evelyn (1909-1967), a former school friend of an aunt (my father's brother's wife - I tell you this so you understand I am reporting a report). Anyway, Ms Evelyn had spent a season in London, playing the lead in "Gaslight" in the West End. She returned home by a ship which sank (this was during World War Two - not sure whether it was attacked or hit a mine). She escaped with her life but not with any possessions or clothes, back to New York, to pick up her career where it left off and to pick up a wardrobe where it had disappeared. She had to choose carefully and slowly and be reconciled to wearing the same things over and over again.
And that was the year she was on the Ten Best-Dressed Women of the Year List. ( I wonder if that would be possible now with name designers rushing to dress the stars.)
So I'll have a little more than one black dress and I won't be Best Dressed, but I'll pass. After all, I'm not going to be seen.