Those familiar with the early days of my other blog (which has since evolved into a platform for media-related ranting) may recall a post I wrote many moons ago about my relentless need to be prepared for everything. Everything.
This often means carting around, upon my person, no end of bits of stuff which I am sure will see me right in the event of spontaneous ballroom dancing / impromptu trips to the mountains / the apocalypse. So my bag is generally pretty heavy.
But since moving to London the grief my spine is getting has increased exponentially. If I’m leaving the house during the day, it’s usually for a meeting, so I need my Filofax. I don’t really know where the Hell I’m going, so I need my ‘pocket size’ A-Z. Sitting on the Tube is boring, so I take a book. A handy visual is provided below to indicate the additional bumpf I’m now carrying around with me.
Compare this to the rest of the stuff I keep in my bag (just the absolute essentials, I hasten to add. I removed the superfluous junk from the picture, because I don’t have a wide-angle lens), and you can see how it stacks up.
This great weight could be vastly reduced, of course, if only I would climb out of the Stone Age and get myself a smartphone. And I will, once Vodafone relinquishes its clammy grip on my bank account in April, but only because it’ll be handy for work. Truth is, I like writing down appointments and notes in my diary. It makes me feel grown up and organised, and if I accidentally dropped it down the toilet I could probably still make sense of my forthcoming week. Similarly, I like looking at maps. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m not ready to hand over the logical part of my brain to an Apple bot who’ll compute my journey for me. I CAN DO IT MYSELF. Besides, map-reading helps you familiarise yourself with an area. I’m continually dumbfounded by people who have zero concept of where they are, or how they got there, because they relied on a machine to get them there.
And the clincher? The book. Sure, I reckon Kindles are excellent. So many books on a device only a fraction of the weight and size. Brill. But can I give up the feel of the pages, the smell of the paper, the anticipation within thousands of printed words I can flip right through in front of my very eyes? Nope.
And as such, come April, when I finally get my much-overdue smartphone, it’ll simply sit in my bag, being bigger and heavier than my current phone, jostling for space between my book and diary and A-Z. And all the painkillers for my knackered back.