Today's Woman. Jo Davison

One week to go before Boy and I venture off to work as volunteers in South Africa.... And I'm feeling anxious.

So many what-ifs are surfacing.

I'm attempting to gain some sort of control by doing what I normally do when I'm stressed ... making lists.

Things to do at work. Things I need to buy. Things that need to be done or organised before I go ... Most of the latter are things Bloke sees as complete and utter madness. Like ringing to arrange for a remortgage (only I'm sure the fixed rate term ends soon). And thinking about my will. News of the touchdown tragedy in Thailand sparked that one. What happens if Boy and I are both killed in a plane crash? Will Bloke automatically inherit, what with the wedding being 11 months off?

Next on my list is the construction of a master list.

I used to scoff at my mother's list of lists. she keeps a perpetually updated one in the bulging handbag her husband and her three children, the people closest to her in the whole world, are expressly forbidden from so much as opening the clasp of. I don't know what she has in there that we are not supposed to see... Jewels? Nasty thoughts about us? A birth certificate proving I'm actually the daughter of Elvis Presley; a cat-burglar's mask and stripy jumper? No; strike that. she'd never wear anything with horizontal stripes.

On top of all this, there are the lists I can't stop myself from making for Boy. All the things he needs to do, buy, plan, wash, tidy. He reckons that now he's an adult (I think he's reading rather too much into a driving licence and the right to vote) he is perfectly capable of looking out for himself.

He's just returned from some sort of trial run for his South African adventure... Living on his own at his Dad's for a fortnight when they went on holiday. Did all his own cooking (highlight: an Uncle Ben's microwave curry). Even worked out how to put the washing machine on. He's nearly given himself a case of scurvy, what with the lack of anything containing a vitamin and, I imagine, a surfeit of Surf in the coloured wash, but the way he sees it, he's discovered new skills. And, incredibly, a craving for salad and fruit smoothies.

"I had one containing two bananas, three apples, ten raspberries and 94 blackcurrants," he told me proudly on Sunday. I said it was pretty mean of Innocent to hold back on six blackcurrants and he took me seriously.

Then I asked if, on top of discovering the lazy boy's way to five-a-day, he had also taken time to prepare himself for the heart-rending sights we are destined to see as we help Project O find more children who have just buried their parents because of Aids. Truth be told, it's the main cause of my anxiety.

His still babyface clouded a bit.

"I don't think that would be helpful at all," he bellowed. Inwardly I thought: Oh dear. Perhaps I ought to put it on his list.

Then he said: "It's better to go out there thinking these are people who are in a bad situation, but I might be able to help them in some way."

And, you know, my heart wanted to burst with pride.

Maybe we'll be all right, then.

What do you think? Post your comments below.