image of blanketsSo this passed week has seen a return to the factories with Gregg Wallace (as evidenced by my insta account) and full weeks away from home.

While it’s great to be at home, the need to make some money and keep the wolf from the door is always there isn’t it.
One thing I’ve always noticed through being a student to now is that I seem to have the unique skill of creating laundry wherever I go, for however long I go there and whenever I go.
Coming home usually results in a laundry mountain that needs to be turned round at some point.
My original plan of attack to deal with this laundry backlog was to essentially circumnavigate it. I mean buy more clothes. Which works, to a point. You have something clean to pack into the next kit bag that you are packing but at the end of the run you have basically created the dirty clothes version of “The Man who went up a Hill but came down a Mountain”. When it gets you, it REALLY gets you! There is also the fact that I’m now taking up more cupboard/wardrobe space than Abbie. Considerably more. Some of the doors on my side of the room won’t shut and it’s best not to mention the socks and boxers draw that are at exploding point as I write.
Abbie is my Sir Edmund Hillary when it comes to summiting Laundry Mountain. She’s a legend and the washing machine is going to be awarded a Knighthood for itself selfless workload.
So why so many clothes, clean or dirty, I’ve been mulling this over and I think the only reasonable answer is that I’m a crap packer when it comes to clothes.
I NEVER seem to travel light. There’s always more trousers, shirts and Solomon Grundys than I need, I know I’m over packing, but I can’t seem to stop doing it. There’s always a fleece/jacket too. That’s because I’m Welsh. No Welshman can leave home for more than a night without packing a jacket.
My over packing was highlighted best when I went to the Algonquin Park, Ontario, for a shoot. I packed and repacked. Kit was done and dusted pretty easy, it was the clothes that seemed to get me every time. Even though there was multiple repacks and clothes culling, when I flew it was my travel bag that was the one case that was bulging at the seams and nearest a problem weight for the flight – ‘ I’m not a little fella so I can’t have a little bag’ has always been my logic.
Contrast that with our AP, Sam, who turned up with a school sports bag type of deal, I doubt I would have a bag as small as this when I go to the gym! I was amazed. To the point our first 30 minutes on the plane was essentially me interviewing him about how he managed to get everything he needed in that bag!
“Are you buying clothes out there?”
“Is there more of your clothes packed in with the kit?”
“how many days can you go before you run out of clothes?”
“What happens when you run out of clean clothes?”
“Are you planning on washing your pants in a river or something?”
“Do you not mind being smelly?”
“Do you not sweat or something?”

So this year, when I have a foreign trip, my mission is to travel light. Easy right?
Should be, shouldn’t it?

This feels like I might be going down a kind of Marie Kondo road here, it’s not quite that but maybe sharing this with others will be something we can work through together.
What do I need to pack, how many clothes do I need to take with me. I have been known to take a pair of trousers with me for every day that I’m away. For a couple of days that’s fine but when you are getting near double digits I’m gonna need to knock that on the head.
Why am I taking this many clothes? well, God Knows, but I’m sure I’m driven by some kind of fuzzy logic when I’m packing. For instance, I know I’ll think clean T shirt each day, then a shirt for the night, couple of pairs of trousers, maybe a fleece or two, might need a coat, couple of extra P’s & S’s as If I’m showering before supper there’s nothing worse than popping Grundy’s back on, so yeah, spares.
You can see already that I’ve filled a bag. Without even trying.

Here is my promise,

I shall pack the following and only the following:

Work Trousers x 1
Jeans x 1
3 x T shirts
1 x Shirt
1 x jumper
4 x Solomons
4 x Socks (Pairs)
1 x Washbag
The Shirt will do for changing for supper and the travel home, Jeans are there as a spare, socks and solomons, well I might just chuck in ONE spare. Baby steps and all that.


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