Thursday, October 31, 2013

If Only I had A Hermione Bag....Packing Strategies and Sleepless Nights

Firstly I'd like to say thank DST for the clocks going back, it really has just made me wake up an hour earlier and therefore not benefit from it at all. I'm so pleased to see 5.45 most days, it's such a lovely time of day.
(By the way if you don't get sarcasm....this is it!) I do not want to see this time. I do not have to get up for work. I do not have to get up for kids and whilst I struggle to sleep past 7.00am anyway, I like 7.00am so much more than pre-6.00am.

It doesn't help that I've been waking up several times in the night - I know I'm worse than a frickin' new born -  and I've been having ridiculous dreams possibly due to the high volume of seriously messed up horror films we've been watching. I do love horror and gore and being scared but sometimes when you cram in a lot in a short period of time and always just before bed, it can play on the old subconscious. Plus some of them are really gross.

We have been conducting our very own in-house Halloween-style Film Fest over the past few days with such gems as:
  • V/H/S (Collection of slightly harrowing videos: A Fright Fest rolled into one film. Good stuff.)
  • The Collection (Sequel to The Collector....Nasty! With a much bigger budget than its predecessor.)
  • Nightmare Before Christmas (Genius!)
  • Warm Bodies (Cute. Not a concrete plot but I'd like to read the book.)
  • Livid (Weird and creepy French film.)

And annoyingly our copy of Hocus Pocus wouldn't work. Damn. It's a Halloween classic.
I have also been reading the Russian Horror novels, Night Watch and Day Watch by Sergei Lukanenko. I had already seen and own both films which I was hoping to be able to re-watch though I think I will run out of time, but it was great to finally read the books. I'll have to save the films for a post holiday film night. 

So despite this being the first year I haven't dressed up (except for bat/spider web earrings) I have made a good effort carving pumpkins, decorating the house and baking yummy treats. I love Halloween. And now I have to pack for the holiday, which is in fact tomorrow and an Asian Adventure in China.

Now there seem to be two types of packers: The ones who spread it out over a week, collecting things as they go along, piling it in when they remember and the ones who leave it till the last minute and pack the night before.

I am definitely the latter. I just can't bring myself to pack the bag until the day before. I feel like I would convince myself everything was packed and then forget the most important things. Also, most of the time I'm waiting for other clothes to be washed and dried before I put them in. But a huge part of it is also that feeling of almost running out of time. That feeling of putting yourself under stress. It's sort of fun and it heightens the senses and you get these pings of, 'Oh I need that' and 'Oh, I mustn't forget that.'

Also, waiting till the night before eliminates possibilities. You can't spend a week pondering which shoes to wear and which tights go better with your dress....blah, blah, blah. You have to make snap decisions otherwise you won't be ready in time. And from someone who hates making decisions, believe me this is the best way.

Does anybody else have an imaginary wardrobe? No I don't mean a wardrobe that isn't really there but you imagine it to be. What I mean is, when you're packing for a trip do you realise that you don't have as many clothes as you thought, or that you don't have as many nice clothes as you thought? That's exactly what happens to me. I'm thinking, don't I have a nice blue top with this on and whatnot and the answer is, yes in my head, no in reality. Imaginary wardrobe. So as I'm packing I'm getting more and more disappointed at my rather shit collection of clothes. It's almost as bad as when you realise your reflection is so much worse than the image of yourself in your head. That's always a rude awakening. Damn mirrors.

Anyhoo, I have a system when packing. Over the years I've created the optimum way of cramming as much stuff in my suitcase as possible. It probably seems quite anal but it works for me: Knickers and socks rolled up as small as possible along the bottom as they have those three natural grooves made by the handle. (If you don't know what I mean you clearly haven't travelled with a wheels/pull up handle suitcase.) Then Jeans or trousers on top of that with t-shirts, vest tops and dresses piled on top or at the sides. Then cardigans and jumpers, then toiletries, books that you don't need in your hand luggage, additional shoes, hair straighteners (not that I can ever be bothered to use them) and battery chargers for computer, phone and camera. Ta-da!

That just leaves hand luggage which consists of a book to read, a notepad to write in, money, phone, camera and computer. Maybe a snack or two and if on a long haul, change of underwear and some small toiletries to freshen up. Done.

There is an organisation here that is definitely mirrored in my writing. You have a starting point. You expand on that and you layer and develop ideas, having very specific ways of making them fit together. (Imagine every item you pack as a different element of your narrative. Where it is placed is essential for the story arc and the reader's understanding and enjoyment.) Then you find a way to end the narrative perhaps leaving some questions unanswered. (Space for souvenirs.) Then it's time to edit. Yes even a suitcase can be edited. If I put the tops there instead of there then I have enough room for my trainers. (In writing speak, if I put a semi colon there instead of a comma then I've made one long sentence instead of two shorter sentences, giving fluidity and variation.) It's a shame really that editing writing isn't quite as straight forward as editing a suitcase. Take this blog for instance. I've re-read and edited it about six times already, though I blame part of that on exhaustion and indecision. 

I'm not sure that last paragraph made sense at all, though it did in my head.

Anyway, what I really want is a Hermione bag, you know the one from The Deathly Hallows, that lovely beaded bag that contains everything they need to go find the Horcruxes. All you need is an Engorgement Charm and a magic wand with which to perform said charm. 

That would be a major slap in the face for Ryan Air and other low cost airlines that are super annoying and almost downright cruel about hand luggage. You could walk on with cute little beaded bag, a smug look and then never need cabin baggage or a suitcase ever. Oh my god, I need one now!

Plus you could really take advantage of duty free. Oh yes I'll have three massive bottles of vodka, thanks. Because I can put it in my teeny bag and it would weigh next to nothing and I could make and drink a lot of cocktails back home. Whoop!

I wonder what else she used the engorgement charm on.........Hmmmmmm Ron?????????

So things are likely to go radio silent at Rants HQ as I may be unable to access certain social media for the next couple of weeks. But I promise I will return with a whole host of ranting issues and nonsense and possibly more knowledge of Mandarin than Nihao, though I can't guarantee anything.  

Until then keep smiling, check out my website in which the tag line actually says: I write stuff, I'm pretty.....
when viewed on my Ipod. The whole tag line is: I write stuff, I'm pretty random. I think I may have to change that, though it did make me giggle.

Well 10:4. This is Rants saying goodbye for now: Over and out!

*static noise*

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