Garry and I agree that since we’re only whizzing to London for a night or two to attend the State Of Craft book party we ought to travel light. We limit ourselves to our respective Fred Perry bags. It may come as a surprise to you that we own Fred Perry bags. We bought them in the sale. Garry’s is a black barrel bag with yellow ends and a stripy shoulder strap. Mine is a plain black leather case – kind of like a doctor’s bag. Garry uses his every day. I’ve only used mine twice.
While I sit on the couch updating my Megabus playlist, I can hear Garry open and close drawers in the bedroom. A few seconds later, he emerges – all packed and ready to go. I envy boys.
Playlist complete and safely transferred onto my dinky green iShuffley thing, I go next door to pack. 10 minutes later and I’ve packed, unpacked and packed again twice over. Somehow I find travelling light much more stressful than travelling heavy.
Garry listened to me patiently (albeit with bulgy eyes and half his mouth sucked into his face) as I explained my wardrobe/packing dilemmas. “I think you ought to transcribe THIS conversation for your blog”, he said once I’d finished. I can’t remember the conversation word for word and besides, it wasn’t funny – it was serious. It was serious and very, very important.
Carrie Not The Kind Of Girl You’d Marry’s Packing Dilemmas & London Wardrobe Anxieties
Jeans are bulky and heavy. I should probably just wear them travelling to save humphing them around. But if I wear them travelling they might get all out of shape from me sitting in them in the same position for 10 hours. The waistband will get all slack and horrible and there’ll be big lumps where my knees have been poking into the fabric. And what if I spill food on them? I’ve put salad cream in the packed lunch rolls. Some salad cream might dribble out and land in my lap. Then I would be a pair of trousers short of an outfit for the rest of the trip. I don’t have any money to buy replacement trousers and even if I did – I don’t have time to go shopping. Maybe I ought to just pack the jeans and wear them on the bus home so that it doesn’t matter if they get dirty.
I already know that I’ll wear my birthday frock to the State of Craft book party. I fold it then roll it and put it in my Fred Perry bag. I get upset because despite having washed pretty much every item of clothing I own, somehow I’ve missed my mustard birthday tights and I find them lurking in the bottom of the laundry basket, dirty. I always wear my mustard birthday tights with my birthday frock. Since it’s too late to wash and dry them, I pack a green pair of tights and a peach pair of tights instead. I’m not happy with either combo but am forced to make do. I am now convinced that London’s crafty cool kids will mock my inability to dress myself and am worried that I might mention my dirty birthday tights in conversation by accident as I nervously try to justify my questionable hosiery selection.
Garry has very thoughtfully washed my blue granny cagoule but I worry that it’s too cold to wear it now. That was my spring jacket. It’s Autumn now. Winter, even. All the buttons on my winter coat have fallen off and the lining is ripped and tangled making it quite difficult to get my arms in the armholes properly. Quite often I put my arm inside the lining by accident and panic as I wonder where my fingers have gone. When I don’t lose my hand in the coat innards, I sometimes get stuck in this weird bit of twisted material that bumffles around the fattest part of my upper arm. It makes me feel like I’m wearing a straight jacket. If I wear my winter coat (regardless of all the lining/button issues), then I might be warmer but my coat looks rubbish with my jeans. I’m starting to hate my jeans. And my coat. I wonder if maybe wearing my fur coat might be an option. It’s warm. And it has all its buttons. The lining of the fur coat is problematic too but I feel that that’s cancelled out by the handy ability to button myself in. Garry suggests that maybe I just wear my blue cagoule. I worry that it doesn’t match my book party outfit and that I will look like a tink at the State of Craft launch. (It’s at this point Garry suggests I write this conversation on my blog).
I love my shoes. I really, really do. I bought them especially for the Nokia tour and they’ve barely been off my feet since. Currently, my retro 70s navy blue mary janes are the only shoes I can wear outdoors on account of my cheapo green boat shoes honking/being leaky and my black winter boots needing re-heeled. I have no shoe options. I get more and more panicky as I realise that, no matter what, I will have to wear my shoes with my jeans. My shoes don’t match my jeans. Perhaps I should unpack the jeans. Again.
An hour, a hissy fit and some sobbing later, I zip my Fred Perry bag and put it in the hall by the door.
I decide to forfeit warmth and take my blue cagoule. I decide to wear my jeans travelling.