I’ve always hated the bit that goes before a holiday – taking Alfie off to Dog Camp, moving someone in to keep an eye on the house and the fish, packing, driving to the airport, getting into the plane, reminding myself (to no avail) that I’m statistically more likely to be killed on the way to the airport than while cruising at 30,000 feet in a metal tube, but this year it all feels much more of a challenge. Nurse Jackie and Sebastian have set off for the Inca Trail and the wonders of Machu Picchu – something that never really appealed to me even when I was in possession of two legs – leaving me and Anna to our low-activity week in Mallorca. I realise that so much of my equanimity is linked to the familiar: I’ve perfected an obstacle-free route to my office; I know which of my friends have steps leading up to their front doors; I can get my cup of tea from the kitchen into the garden without incurring third degree burns. Moving into the unfamiliar feels very daunting. I’ve enlisted Matron Anna to help me pack, I’ve booked valet parking at the airport, ordered assistance at the terminal and hired a wheelchair at the hotel (more to stop my mother worrying than to get about.) Beyond that, there isn’t much more I can do except hope for the best. It’s going to be odd being amongst people who will only know me as an amputee. I’m not sure whether I’ll brave the swimming pool with a bare stump, if crutches will work on sand, or if I’ll make it into the sea. But on the plus side, my wound has miraculously healed, it’s 90 degrees F in Palma and I know the Spanish for two beers and a plate of calamari.