Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

My Luggage Is Boring-But at Least I'm Not One of Those Weirdos Who Vacuum-Wrap Their Suitcase

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

My Luggage Is Boring-But at Least I'm Not One of Those Weirdos Who Vacuum-Wrap Their Suitcase

Article excerpt

As a stand-up, I tour a lot, which means I'm forever lugging suitcases off trains and in and out of car boots. It's boring, and my luggage is boring. Like 99 per cent of the population, I travel with various-sized black nylon, zip-up, box-shaped cases. Sometimes I remember to tie a jaunty ribbon to the handle; mostly, I forget.

Call me naive, but I don't think anyone really wants to steal my stuff. Hence I'm not one of those weirdos who vacuum-wrap their suitcase in cellophane at the airport. Imagine going away with a new boyfriend and finding out he was one of those.

But obviously accidents happen, and once, at Gatwick, a man swiped my case from the carousel. At which point I jumped on his back and insisted he open the case to prove ownership. He obliged, only to reveal a load of grubby laundry. My William Morris embroidery was nowhere to be seen.

That apart, my luggage/ travel experiences have been largely uneventful. Until ... Cut to two weeks ago in Penrith, where various bods were being ferried from the train station to a car-hire base a couple of miles away. Somehow I got separated from my tour manager and ended up sharing a lift with another fiftysomething woman who told me she had returned north to "climb Helvellyn with my mother".

I thought, "Blimey, her old mum must be fit for her age" until it transpired her mum was in an urn in this woman's suitcase, along with some fresh rose petals that the family were going to scatter with the ashes from the top of the mountain. …

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