After a good twenty years, quite possibly even more, the time has eventually come to say farewell to a companion of mine who has shared all of my ups and downs, and didn't complain once because the latter heavily outnumbered the former. The best partners don't do they? Bless her, she's had to put up with muddy football boots, heavy books, a laptop that was far too big for her, (ooh I say), various cameras, sand from all manner of European beaches and hours sitting by herself at strange football grounds in allsorts of weather, not all of it nice.
When you first see someone you quite like the look of you make excuses to go back and catch a glimpse don't you? I'm no different, I think I went back to Debenhams in Ipswich four times before taking the plunge. Once I plucked up the courage, the pair of us never looked back and for years you couldn't squidge a fag paper between us, we were tight. All kinds of travel adventures soon followed and rarely was she far from my right shoulder. Thing is, the longer you're with someone the more you take them for granted and, more to the point, ignore their faults because, (you think), you love them. I'm no different.
For Debenhams Ipswich circa 1988 read El Corte Inglés Alicante 2010 and a big old Déjà vu. Forty nine euros later and my old Nike rucksack was a thing of the past, replaced by something I couldn't keep my eyes off. At least I had the good manners not to road test the new one before discarding the old, even if somebody has spelt QUIKSILVER wrong.