As usual my return trips to Blighty generally involve me doing an impersonation of a pack mule with ferrying of used clothes(for my Sister's children), Christmas/Birthday presents and sundry other packages that cannot for some reason be sent by mail. The return trip is usually as bad if not worse with presents coming the other way and various parcels arriving courtesy of Amazon and computer based retailers as E. feeds her on-line shopping habit.
This time I am going back with a carry on bag and two large suitcases for the various presents. A. has also put in a special request for as many packets of Match Attax cards as I can carry (I have had to tell him that like bringing duty free into the Country Match Attax are strictly rationed).
I have written about these cards previously and A. remains an aficionado - there are apparent 460 cards to collect and they are sold in 5 card packs - however there is no guarantee that you will get the cards you need and often you will get 2 or more of the same players. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your perspective) there has been a shortage of Match Attax in the desert (the shop keepers must be doing their collective nuts given the number of small boys who must be continually pestering them about the next delivery). This of course gives us the ideal opportunity to reduce our outlay on cards (at AED5 per pack they are not cheap) and my return to UK gives me an opportunity to stock up for Christmas (they are around half the price in UK and seem to be in plentiful supply). Judicious rationing means that we will have "bribes" for A. for a least a month after I return and enough left over for a Christmas present!
As a non-parent I suspect the bribery aspect would have filled me with distaste. As a parent of a football obsessed son it is manna from heaven particularly when it comes to incentivize him for school and home work. It has also some unexpected side benefits - A. has developed an encyclopedic knowledge of premiership players which drives E mad but I find quite endearing. Also it prompted him to write in his neatest and clearest handwriting a note spelling out precisely which cards he would like (indeed it prompted a couple of fairly lengthy list identifying the particular player cards he wants - this from a boy who is generally reluctant to committ pen to paper unless it is absolutely necessary).
Weather in UK is a bit on the chilly side so I will go back to packing (should there be any space left) some warm clothes for my sojourn in the Docklands and in Kent.