How big does your suitcase need to be for a two night stay?

Our recent trip across the Pennines was an enjoyable affair; not least because we stayed for two nights in a decent hotel.

A quick slice of net surfing, a seemingly out of date special offer code, and a cheeky telephone conversation with a person on reception and we managed to get a top suite in a good hotel for a basic price. I even wangled a free meal in the restaurant on the evening of our first night.

The weekend, in essence, belonged to Mrs M due to the Strictly Come Dancing tickets given to her by our daughters for Christmas.

This meant I felt committed to doing this her way; shopping for clothes, early morning swimming, and the largest suitcase available.

The fact that we were away for only two nights had no bearing on the number of clothes my bride decided to take. I would repeat the phrase 'only two nights' several times during the next 72 hours.

I was allowed a small corner of the available space but figured that I only needed one pair of trousers and three shirts to make the stay work. It's great being a fella.

I loaded the car with suitcase and laptop foolishly thinking my job was complete. I couldn't have been more wrong.

When I returned from the car my wife had assembled the following items that could not be fitted into the suitcase; make-up bag, hairdryer and straighteners, a six-pack of yoghurts, various toiletries, a handbag, and two extra pillows. (Both of these are for Mrs M - she says she uses them to cover her ears so that she cannot hear me snoring)

In addition to this, and I kid you not, my wife had included seven pairs of shoes (not including those that she was wearing).

I shoehorned the rest of these items into our tightly packed vehicle and we set off towards black-pudding country.

When we arrived at the hotel we signed in without taking our cases to reception; I didn't want them to think that we intended moving in for good.

Having unpacked and freshened up we headed out towards one of the area's biggest shopping centres and prepared for Mrs M to spend some Christmas money.

I got over the disappointment of not eating out my favourite Portuguese restaurant knowing that we had our table booked in the hotel for later that evening.

I took every opportunity of taking a seat having jarred my back lifting the oversized suitcase and wondered at the irony of the fact that the shopping expedition meant that my bride bought enough clothes not to have to wearing any of the items we brought. A fact that seemed completely lost on Mrs M.