Just In Case

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I stumbled across this poem yesterday (see below), a lovely, lovely, very funny lady called Elizabeth Stead gave it to me quite a while ago, in fact the first time I heard it Elizabeth read it out in her best Victoria Wood voice and I cried with laughter – it was written by Charlotte Mitchell.

Despite knowing all the theory about a capsule wardrobe I find it impossible to travel light. I have never yet gone through airport checkout and not had a large orange sticker slapped onto my case that says HEAVY!

When my friend got married about 12 years ago in Antigua we had a very bad delay coming home, to pass the time my friend ran a competition at the check in queue for people to guess how many pairs of footwear were in my case – the answer was 10!

Happy packing and happy hols to those of you going away.

Just In Case

“I’m going to the sea for a weekend,
in a couple of days I’ll be back,
so I’ll just take my little brown suit and a blouse
and a beret and carry my mac.

But what if the house is a cold one,
the house where I’m going to stay,
no fires after April, no hot drinks at night
and the windows wide open all day?
I’d better take one – no, two cardys
and my long tartan scarf for my head,
and my chaste new pyjamas in case they decide
to bring me my breakfast in bed,
and what about church on Sunday?
I could wear my beret and suit,
but if it were sunny, it would be a chance
to wear my straw hat with the fruit.
I can’t wear my little brown suit, though
not with the straw and the fruit,
so I’ll just take a silk dress to go with the straw
and a silk scarf to go with the suit.
I’ll just take my jeans and that jumper
in case we go out in the car,
and my Guernsey in case we go out in a boat
and d’you know where my swimming things are?

D’you think I should take that black velvet
in case they’ve booked seats for a play?
And is it still usual to take your own towel
when you go somewhere to stay?
I had thought of just taking slippers,
but they do look disgustingly old,
I’d better take best shoes and sandals and boots
for the church and the heat and the cold.

I daren’t go without my umbrella
in case I’m dressed and it rains;
I’m bound to need socks and my wellies
for walking down long muddy lanes.

I’d rather not take my old dressing gown,
its such a business to pack,
but s’pose they have breakfast before they get dressed
I’d have to have mine in my old mac.

I’m going to the sea for the weekend,
in a couple of days I’ll be back,
so I’ll just take my little brown suit and a blouse,
two cardys, my long tartan scarf,
my chaste new pyjamas
my straw hat with the fruit,
my silk dress, my silk scarf,
my jeans, that jumper,
my Guernsey, my swimming things,
my black velvet, my towel,
my slippers (no one need see them)
my sandals, my boots, my umbrella
my socks, my wellies
my dressing gown, no, not my dressing gown,
Ok my dressing gown,
and a beret and carry my mac.

By Charlotte Mitchell

Categories: Other


Ann Hawkins · 30th July 2006 at 6:33 am


I love the poem! You could be describing my husband!! (Not me of course … 🙂

Bob Dwyer-joyce · 19th May 2008 at 10:14 am

Stumbled upon this amusing poem in the BBC Book of Comic Poems and thought it just fine for my monthly ‘Poetry read’ at our local (Brentwood) U3A. I try and find something suitable to make the members laugh and end the meeting on a high note. I am sure that this will do the trick.

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