While I wasn't completely enamoured with the Scouting movement in the mid-1980s, I've certainly adopted its motto of "Be Prepared" to one aspect of my life - packing for a trip.
In a few weeks time I head to Japan for some skiing.
The bags have been packed and by the front door for months.
Apart from the fact that the Brisbane heatwave has made thermal underwear, ski jackets and hand warmers redundant anyway, they were all rolled up into travel vacuum bags (the ones which squeeze all the air out) well before Christmas. They were ready for the snow even before there was snow on the ground in Japan this season.
And perhaps me walking around my unit with my ski boots on (to wear them in again and check for any pressure points) contributed to the couple downstairs moving out. Perhaps the clunking of heavy ski boots on the kitchen tiles as I did the washing up in them was just a bit too much? Just collateral damage in my quest I'm afraid.
During the past few weeks I sometimes wished for an intrusion by the Jehovah's Witnesses as I stomped around my unit in summer t-shirt and shorts - resplendent in my grey ski boots. What would they make of this vision? A half man / half machine who appeared to be getting ready for an impending ice age. Surely a sign of the end of days?
This level of preparedness does not always extend to other parts of my life. It's pretty much reserved for travel.
What if the airline called and moved my outward flight forward... by two weeks? What if I won a round-the-world trip from a competition requiring immediate departure?
Well, I'm good to go.
While others would be running around madly throwing toiletries into their bag at the last minute, I would be half way to the airport with my dedicated travel toiletries bag (which is always packed and ready for deployment in the field).
Prepared? Yes I am.
So thank you Scouts. I can't tie a knot to save myself and have lost my scarf and woggle, but if there was a badge for "Travel Readiness" I think I'd have it in the bag.