Thursday, 6 March 2008

Packing Light

Thursday 6th March - 3 Days till Vogue.

I’m writing this at work because, well just because really. It is my last day here and it feels like the last day of term before the summer holidays. My desk has been cleared of all my stuff and any minute I expect a giant bell to ring and tell me it’s time to go play in the sunshine. (Even though it is only 12.30 and cold outside)

I spent most of last night packing. It turns out that my absolute bare and total minimum fills one huge bag the size of my desk that I can barely drag let alone lift, another large bag half the size and a rucksack. Somehow I now have to get this to the station, onto a train and home at the other end. I have said it before and I will say it again: all of my problems in life could be easily solved by a man with a wheelbarrow. Why oh why will someone not send me one? Just think about it, it’s the perfect answer; someone to carry all of your luggage, shopping, equipment and large bits of MDF around wherever you go. You can even sit in the wheelbarrow when you get tired. And all carbon free. I tell you people it’s the solution for the 21st Century.

I have never been one to pack light. The one time I tried it, it ended in disaster and I never shall again. This was the trip to New York with uni a few years ago. As we were only going for a long weekend I figured I could get away with just a small hand luggage sized bag and packed accordingly with just a couple of t shirts, one extra jumper, and the usual socks and underwear. I remember standing waiting for the coach feeling incredibly smug as I watched my friends heave giant suitcases stuffed to bursting into the luggage compartment, and all of the boys (Most of whom had packed more than me) praising me on my economy.

The joke however was on me. I would have been fine had we not been caught in what the New York newscasters were calling ‘Blizzard 06’. Wading through 4 foot high snow drifts my clothes took about 2 minutes to become soaking and my little trainers even less. With twenty minutes until our coach left on the last day, I had to dash into Macy’s and tried to buy some dry shoes. The lady in the shop must have thought I was mad:

“Which shoes do you have in a size 8?
That’s European size 8. No I don’t know what that is here.
I don’t care which ones. Nice ones. Not those.
How about these trainers? Ok, how about these? Well what do you have in an 8?
Well why not? How about in Brown? Black?
I really don’t care, I just want some shoes. I’m in a hurry.
No I said not those. Oh go on then.
How much?”

Never again… If I have to push the wheelbarrow myself, never again.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008


Wednesday 5th March - 4 Days till Vogue.

Nice to see the spirit of equality alive and well on the streets of Birmingham. Last night I went for an impromptu dinner with two friends. In the taxi on the way home I mentioned this fact to the taxi driver while making small talk. To this he replied “Ah well that’ll be because you young women can’t cook these days”, and proceeded to embark upon a tirade that was to last the entire way home. The subject of this lecture was ‘Women – why they are evil and should get back in the kitchen where they belong.’

He told me that no young women that he knew of could cook properly and actually used the words “If I put you in the kitchen you would make a terrible wife because you can’t cook.” (Bear in mind at this point that all I had said so far was that I had been out for dinner) He continued his discourse with “How can you people expect your poor husbands to go out to work all day and come home to find there is no dinner on the table? It’s disgusting.” He then told me that lots of his friends’ marriages had broken up solely, yes solely because the wife was a terrible cook, and that all women should be taught how to cook in school.

I did try to argue, but in the end I just sat back and let him get on with it until we arrived home. When a person has opinions like that I suspect there is little a silly little girl like me could do to change his mind, what with my head being all filled up with fluff and nail varnish and the like. He did however give me a discount off the taxi fare because I had said somewhat defensively and a little unwisely, that I could in fact cook.