Monday, 30 July 2012

On Paper

If someone were to design a collaborative song and music video for you, who would be in it and doing what?

On paper, for me, a song written by Paul McCartney, performed using British Sign Language in the video by the incomparable Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman sounds like Christmas come early! 

'My Valentine' is a lovely song, which to me proves that Macca still has it. I don't think I am alone in thinking, however, that he is a songwriter perhaps best heard and not seen. As much as I think he's awesome, he irritates the living fuck out of me. Here is the video in question. 

Someone needs to tell Depp that BSL requires facial expressions - stoic and BSL just don't mix, dear. Neither do a lack of sleep and copious amounts of alcohol, judging by his face. Having said that, for someone who is nearly 50 he's still a fox, and I'd rather look at his inappropriately lacklustre sign language than Macca's smug mug. 

Despite this, it's a beautiful song and the lyrics are gorgeous.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

What's in the Bag, Slag?

So as I prepare to depart for Australia for the umpteenth time, and I consider my immediate future as a world of cramped airline cabins and food that looks and tastes like nothing that actually exists; I thought I'd write a post.

I have provided pearly pearls of wisdom from my travels before on this blog. It's so ruddy useful, in fact, that when I travel I refer back to it just to make sure I've not forgotten anything. I had realised, however, that I had not provided a full list of the contents of my hand luggage bag. I happen to believe that I am a pro at long-haul travelling (and modest, to boot!) so for the benefit of my future self, and anyone else that's interested, here is the contents of my long-haul flight hang luggage bag...

First of all, actually I feel like I should state that my bag is a backpack (not cool, but oh-so-kind-on-the-sciatica) which in cases of being extremely heavy and you having a lack of shame can also be worn frontways. Yeah, you'll look stupid, but haters gonna hate. This sac magic also has a pocket designed for a laptop to slide right into (and out of with ease at security) and a mini-pocket next to this which I have adopted for my ipad. I then shove all the soft stuff (clothes, etc.) next to them for extra padding.

  • My laptop (& charger) - some planes have seat chargers, if not you can always find a plug during a stopover, or give it to the airline crew to charge up in the galley.
  • Travel plug adaptor - if you're that set on using your laptop on a plane, but it's mostly for douchebags because it means the person next to you can't get out.
  • Ipad (& charger) - though the charge will almost certainly hold for a whole long-haul flight. Ipads are the best for travelling with because they're so small but have so much on there. It also means you don't really need to take...
  • A book - If you don't want to read off an ipad. You friggin' dinosaur.
  • Mobile phone - purely because I would have a breakdown if I put it into my checked-in luggage and it got lost. Also good for calling people to let them know you've landed.
  • A travel wallet/file/whatever - Basically a wallet of some sort to hold all your documents (see below) and a pen (for immigration cards) spare pen (for the losers that forget about immigration cards) and taxi business cards, phone numbers and addresses of people you're staying with in case your phone doesn't work. I got mine as a Christmas present, and it's fab. It's bright pink (to find it in a big bag), suede (ooooh), got a handle (if you've only got a small way until the next time you have to show more documents, and I couldn't do without it.
  • Documents - Passport, photocopy of passport incase you lose it (obviously kept somewhere other than right next to your passport), booking confirmation, online check-in boarding passes, and everything else mentioned above.
  • Purse - With your currency and also some sort of a universal card like visa to use at airports. Also take a drivers licence, because you never know.
  • Ipod - Fully charged, with lots of nice tunes on there. I also like to download ambient sounds like water or some shit like that because it's better to listen to when you're trying to sleep than some fat git snoring.
  • Eyemask - So you don't have to look at the fat git snoring.
  • Nail file - Card, obviously, for the love of god not a metal one. I just find this a nice time to do my nails. Don't paint them - that's just douchebaggy in a small badly ventilated space.
  • Hairbands and pins - For annoying hair.
  • Breath stuff - Polos, chewing gum and those little paper tablet things are all good. I also take a mini-toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Toiletries - These are liquids and will need to go in a clear plastic bag and be in containers under 100ml in size. Toothpaste, mini-deoderant (roll-on), moisturiser (a strong one - vaseline or cocoa butter), a toner (even if you never use toner this is really important and makes such a difference. A quick spray of toner every now and then can make you feel much more human, hydrated and smells nice too!) tiger balm (in case of inevitable headaches or blocked nose), eye drops, eye roll-on gel (really really works - the tinted one is even better), BB cream (for easy make-pretty when you land as it is really just a fancy tinted moisturiser), lipstick (for easy make-pretty again, and can double as a blush to save room).
  • Clothes - Yoga trousers or pajama bottoms are invaluably comfy on the plane. As as comfy socks, or flight socks if you go for that. I'd also recommend a spare top and spare undies, especially if you have a stopover.
  • A pillow - I wear a pashmina to negate the need for those shitty airline blankets. The pillow I take is one of those beany-type things, which I find comfy. It's also good because I'm short and sometimes if I don't want a pillow, I simply put the beanbag on the floor and can use it to exercise my legs with (by pressing on the beanbag and such, honestly, it works).
  • Wipes -  Antibacterial wipes are my friends. The second I get in my seat, the first thing I do is give everything a good clean. If you saw how dirty the wipes were when I'd finished, you'd do it too. Wipes can also be used to clean yourself, you dirty Gerty.
  • Tissues - I sneeze a lot.
  • Snacks - I often feel travelsick, but I find that salty snacks settle my stomach. I like roasted edamame as they are healthy and high-protein.
  • Water - A 750ml water bottle, and drink it all! Then ask the airline crew to fill it back up again. Simples.
  • Anything else valuable - Just in case checked-in luggage goes walkies.
That's it really. My rucksack has lots of nifty pockets and things and I put things in different ones depending on how easily I can get to the pocket, and how often I will be using the item. It's just a case of doing anything possible to make the whole ordeal a bit less stressful.

Hope this information is useful to someone. If not, I shall be using it for my own reference as future-me.

Hi future me! Have a nice flight!