atchy Summer weather and a wobbly post-Brexit Euro has made many of us hum and hah over travel arrangements and making plans. Being a last-minute sort of fellow, I took advantage of a few air miles and a favourable exchange rate on the Morroccan dib-dob to take a few days in Marrakech.
I’d wanted to go since my student days, when Messrs Crosby, Stills and Nash urged us to take the Marrakech Express, but had never quite got round to it…
British Airways eventually took the place of the famous express and I found that my inner hippy had been replaced by something more middle-aged and marginally less tolerant of ragged trouser travel….
I was delighted I had packed my new Leather Flight Bag, which saved me the misery of luggage check-in, fitting as it does in the overhead locker. Being capable of losing my keys within a six-foot radius, this bag for all seasons has zip pockets for my keys, tickets, passport, specs and hipflask. Safe and sound, something to steady the nerves.
I tend to keep my spare wonga in my Traveller’s Belt with its secret zip compartment. Made of solid Wildebeest leather, it would take stronger fingers than mine to snaffle my precious dib-dobs.
Along the same lines, I can no longer busk it with a disposable toothbrush and razor. My Dent’s Leather Wash Bag is essential kit to ensure I am spruced up to face the day. A splash of my favoured cologne, toothbrush, razor and a couple of folded linen handkerchiefs all fit in neatly (along with toothpicks, floss, comb, sunscreen, lipsalve, eyedrops, indigestion pills, etc…) along with a few other secrets that enhance my public image.
A giant, spotted cotton hanky also doubles as a chirpy neckscarf or emergency sunhat!
You may have gathered that I am not the most relaxed of travellers. I have to be fully equipped and comfortable… everything must be to hand or I become twisted, hot and bothered!
the absolute pinnacle of the sailing shoemaker’s art
Soft-top socks counteract the pressurised effects of flying; we don’t want deep vein thrombosis nor asparagus veins making an ugly appearance. Personally, I have adopted the modern way of not wearing socks while flying, but to do this, one can only wear sailing shoes or driving moccasins. Of the two, to pack light, I would recommend the Sperry Gold Cup… the absolute pinnacle of the sailing shoemaker’s art, worn by every blue-chip New Englander since JFK. They are the softest leather, water-proof, non-slip, but with a lambskin lining and gold-plated eyelets that raise them to luxury level. I match these with a pair of preppy Tropical Chinos which I find very light and flexible for travel, although our Nantucket pink ‘Jeanos’ with a little extra elastane work very well, too.
Shirts have to be linen; not only because the flax is great in the heat, but linen is the only shirting that can look good unironed and it folds down extremely small. I pack long-sleeved in white and blue, plus a short-sleeved seersucker for hot afternoons en terrace.
You will always need a hat on such a trip. I always take my Regimantal Panama, a battered friend which has developed into a shape very much my own over the years, but I now also stow a linen ‘Alfie’ cap which packs light, a different choice when a Panama may be conspicuous and you need some head cover from the sun.
That little lot should see you through most travel situations but, if you are anything like me, you feel lost without a jacket with a few pockets.
Peter Christian can offer linen, soft cotton or seersucker. I love a seersucker jacket; it is a classic whose oddly puckered, striped weave miraculously keeps surface temperature low. Like linen, it can look elegant crumpled and unbuttoned, but with the addition of a Birkin Scarf, it will dress up for evening.
Believe it or not, apart from the clobber you fly in, all this will fit into your Flight Bag, a statement piece of luggage you will never regret buying.
This selection of kit will suit from Turin to Timbuktu, however, if you are following my footsteps and braving the Souks of Marrakech, then remember to take another bag for the fez, Djellaba and curly toed Baboush slippers you are almost certain to buy!