April 27th, 2013 | paper and process
This is a Maxpedition Mini EDC Pocket Organiser. It fits neatly in my coat pocket. I’ve always been one of those people who just stuffs their coat pockets with the stuff they might need thirty seconds before I head out of the door. This means, in practise, that I either overstuff said pockets or that I can’t find one thing I need to stick in there. Obviously, the older and more senile I get, the more this will become one of those idiot problems that wastes more time and mental energy than it should. I’m going to need that mental energy for things like remembering where I live. Also, if I’m just shooting into London for something, I like to avoid carrying a bag if I can. Not least because a bag tempts me to carry more stuff than I need, “just in case.”
(I like Maxpedition bags. I also have the Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack Shoulder Bag for overnight travel and, for travelling more than one night, the slightly absurdly named Maxpedition Aggressor Attache Tactical Briefcase. They’re strong, clever and compact bags that take a beating.)
So I have this. I don’t like the colour, but it was the only one in stock that week. Doesn’t matter. It’s not like anyone will see it, because it lives in my coat. For scale, the black Field Notes notebook on the far right is five inches tall. That’s a Pilot Frixion pen next to it: they’re erasable pens, and are nice to write with.
The shiny thing reflecting my iPhone 4S (which is always at hand) is an Anker Astro2 battery pack, which will charge the phone and everything else in the pack. At left of that is my Sony mp3 player, which has been running strong since, what, 2009? I choose mp3 players very carefully. It’s the NWZX-1060, 32GB. Monster Turbine earbuds.
The thing with the white blob above the mp3 player is, if you’re my daughter, my “douchebag ear-thing,” otherwise known as a Bose bluetooth earpiece. Which mostly gets used to listen to spoken-word podcasts while I’m on the move, and to allow me to take long phone calls from my agents while drinking and smoking heavily. Not that they cause me to drink and smoke heavily. Often. (They are the only people who ever phone me.)
Never, ever, ever be without a notebook and something to write with. Phones are great for lots of things, but nothing beats paper and pen for complex thoughts, notes and sketches. I wrote an entire issue of PLANETARY in a notebook on a long three-leg train journey once. The phone is for everything else, and the mp3 player is for when everything else needs to go away.
Faintly ridiculous, all lined up like this, isn’t it? There’s a tiny little penknife that also goes in there, but it’s, um, currently missing. (See?) Thing is, the business of writing doesn’t stop just because I’m travelling. So this simple little bag stays in my coat. For me, this is actually streamlined.