Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Travels Within My Suitcase


Don't be fooled by the outward appearance of this rather mundane looking vintage suitcase.


Once opened its contents reveal a riot of colour and the overwhelming smell of Nag Champa.

Stephen Squirrel photobomb!

This is my India suitcase containing the stuff I only ever wear when I'm there. It's where the clothes I've found throughout the year get stashed away, ready to be rediscovered when I'm packing for my next trip. Saddo that I am, there's a real thrill in pulling out things I'd forgotten about, like finding them at the car boot sale/charity shop all over again and not having to pay for them.  


The 1970s block printed tunic came from a clearance rail at a vintage fair, the bastard massive retro sunglasses were from a car boot trader, who owed me 50p change but didn't have any coins. The cotton jersey maxis aren't the most exciting of things but can be chucked into a bag & don't need ironing & therefore ideal for our gypsy-like travels, layered with a tunic over the top for a bit of modesty when we visit temples or non-touristy places and comfy for sleeping in if we're on an overnight train. I fell in love with this tie-dye bandeau bikini when I accidentally spotted it on the internet last year but couldn't bring myself to pay £32. Eight months later I saw it on a stall at the car boot sale, in my size with the tags still attached, for £1. Get in!

This tooled leather handbag was a £1.99 charity shop find and I bought the metallic chappals from Colaba market in Mumbai back in January (they were around £2.50). 


Most of the India suitcase is stuffed with clothes I've had for years and years. Just taking something out of the case instantly transports me back to previous times I've worn it.


This 1970s Jinty's, London maxi takes me back to sunset on Mumbai's Chowpatty beach (blog post HERE). I'm wearing it with my trusty denim waistcoat.


The tasseled Rajasthani bag (bought from a street stall in Agonda, South Goa) and one of a pair of block printed cotton wrap maxi skirts (bought from the fabulous Cotton Cottage in Margao, Goa's second city) remind me of the day we explored the Palácio Do Deão, deep in the state's interior. (Blog post HERE)


The second block printed skirt takes me back for a paddle in the Arabian Sea on the morning we walked eight kilometres along the beach from Benaulim to Betalbatim. The organic cotton vest was from a second-hand clothing sale in North Goa in aid of a local orphanage about 8 years ago.


The block printed wrap skirt (bought from a wonderful Indian family with a tiny shop in South Goa) has been patched up countless times, the hem worn away from trailing along the dusty pavements of India. Here it is in the Medieval temple town of Gokarna in Karnataka (Blog post HERE). The original 1970s Miss Selfridge halterneck was 50p from a chazza.


The same top crops up again here when we visited the incredible Palace in the Jungle (blog post HERE). My 1970s Dollyrockers maxi skirt was 99p from eBay about 10 years ago. In 2014 I bust the zip and paid a street tailor in Patnem 50p to replace it. 


This was taken a couple of weeks later in Coorg, a remote hill station in Karnataka (blog post HERE). The insane 1970s deadstock Italian sunnies came from a vintage fair.


The same sunglasses worn with a vintage Rabari tribal skirt (Banardos, £1.99) on the train to Mangalore. That Ganesh tote bag is still going strong.




 The Dollyrockers skirt again! This time worn with a vintage tribal print tie-back top (courtesy of Tania) and my trusty Jaipuri bag (via a car boot sale). I'm in the paddy fields in Sernabatim, South Goa. 


It's that skirt & bag again! This time I'm wearing them to explore a derelict Portuguese era mansion (Blog post HERE). The vest is also in the suitcase, it's one of a pair featuring Hindu deities bought from a street stall for a couple of quid.


The Jaipuri leather bag strikes again! This time worn over a 1970s tribal print maxi dress (which hasn't been to India since 2012 but attended the Cornbury Festival back in the summer) and a 1970s fringed lace shawl (£3, charity shop) to visit an elephant festival in Kerala (blog post HERE).


This vintage Banjara tribal top came from a car boot sale. Seen here with the Dollyrockers skirt (and you thought I wore my denim waistcoat a lot!) enjoying a night out with a fabulous couple we met in South Goa.


In a very shabby, but wonderfully atmospheric, colonial era lodging house in downtown Madras (Chennai), celebrating my 40th birthday. Wearing my denim waistcoat with a black cotton gypsy skirt. 


 The tooled leather bag and gypsy skirt travel to the Matri Mandir at the Auroville Ashram (just down the road from Pondicherry, the former French colony (blog post HERE). 


 Of course, no adventure would be complete without a special mention to my denim waistcoat which although bought new, I've now had for so long that it's officially vintage. It's got so many holes in it that I've had to patch it up with a napkin given to me by our friends Pat & Matthew of A Vintage Affair. I'm hoping it'll see me through my travels for a good few years yet. 

Wearing: Vintage Lady Lichfield maxi (courtesy of Helga), Silver Chelsea boots (new!)

I had every intention of actually packing this afternoon (nothing like being almost four weeks early) but I got distracted reminiscing about previous trips....must be my age. I'll be going to vintage fairs next and telling the stallholder how I used to have one of them.

See you soon!

83 comments:

  1. Oh the memories! How wonderful to have a little wardrobe set aside just for travel.
    I have those exact same silver chappals! I bought mine at Janpath in Delhi though.
    Happy trails to you......
    xox

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    1. Chappal twins! I know you love a bit of bling as much as i do. x

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  2. Sigh 😌 how I enjoyed your lovely colourful blog post. Oh to be out of all the chaos and roaming free along a beach wearing floaty colourful frocks. We all need a trip to look forward to at this time of year. Need to drag
    welder out of the boilers I think haha xxxx

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    1. I can't wait to be barefoot and clad in a floaty frock. It's so miserable here. You need a return trip. xxx

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    2. We definitely do but I can't see the welder being up for it. His feet are firmly on the ground xxx

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  3. Your tried and trusty favourites! I've enjoyed reading this post and looking through your suitcase. I always reckon that packing is one of the best things about a holiday! xxx

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    1. I love the preparation bit. It's a lot easier when you can predict the weather (unlike trying to pack for a weekend away at a British music festival!) x

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  4. Cor, what a riot of colour you have in that suitcase! Lots of orange and pink, a fabulous combo. What a great nostalgic look through your holiday wardrobe xx

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    1. Pink is the navy blue of India, so they say! Orange is great, it hides the gingery dust that permeates everything. xxx

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  5. I'm not surprised you got sidetracked when you opened that suitcase full of fabulously colourful stuff and memories. Amid the riot of colour, my favourite is the black and white one, which is beautiful in its simplicity and very evocative. Enjoy your packing! xxx

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    1. I bet your Welsh wardrobe is a bit heavier on the waterproofs and jumpers!
      A Facebook "friend" was appalled by that black and white photo, wondering how I could bear to stay in somewhere so tatty! Give me an 18th century lodging house over a modern all inclusive resort hotel any day of the week! xxx

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  6. Love your denim waistcoat, in fact all your clothes

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    1. Thank you! If only blogging had smellivison, you could sniff the Nag Champa! xxx

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  7. I truly love and look forward to your annual packing posts. Wow! You have done a fantastic job repairing that denim vest/waistcoat! I remember when it was patched with Mexican embroidery!

    Thank you for listing my spirits.

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    1. What a memory! I've still got that Mexican embroidered patch but it was a bit heavy for the humidity of India. I'm on the hunt for something I can attach it to for British weather wear! x

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  8. Isn't it lovely how clothes hold memories - as well as smells, taste, sound and sight.

    How very organised you are to have a separate holiday wardrobe and how beautiful are the contents of that suitcase? You looked lovely in every single outfit. What wonderful places those clothes and you have seen.

    I'm really lusting after your tribal printed maxi skirt.

    As for finding your dream bikini in your size at a car boot and for just one round pound - magical!

    I bet you're ticking off the dates to when you go...

    xxx

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    1. I couldn't believe it when I found that skirt, they sell for silly prices on eBay!
      Talk about a coincidence with that bikini, it just goes to show that if you wait long enough it'll always turn up second-hand, it's just having to patience to ride out the wait. xxx

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  9. What a fabulous travel wardrobe, I think I need to step it up a notch for my next trip.

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    1. You've got months to start preparing! Summery stuff will be super cheap in your thrift shops now (if they haven't put it away until the Spring) xxx

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  10. I roared with laughter at Stephen Squirrel's photobomb as he is mimicking your pose EXACTLY!!! Where is HIS vintage floral maxi????
    I like all the memories associated with your beautiful clothes!!!xx

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    1. I had to laugh at that picture, too! He is silly! I keep threatening him with a vintage outfit! x

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  11. A suitcase full of memories, how lovely! I have lots of well-worn travel-only items too, but they have been culled and replaced over the years too. What gorgeous adventures you've had, and how many more are to come! How exciting. Happy packing x

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    1. Some of my holiday clothes are getting really tatty but I like them all the better for it. It's like having an old friend with me when I travel (as well as Jon!) xxx

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  12. A niece of mine has quite a few older suit cases. She uses them as end table, and comes handy storing thing in.
    Coffee is on

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    1. I would never travel with a suitcase but you're right, they're perfect for storage. xxx

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  13. Hi Vix, you denim vest with the napkin sewed on is amazing! What lovely memories you have, enjoy the packing. Xx

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    1. Thanks, Jess! I loved how it turned out. xxx

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  14. Brilliant patch job on that denim vest. It has become a work of art.

    This whole post could have been ripped from some chi chi bohemian photo shoot. You are the perfect example of how to look effortlessly chic whilst on vacay. Your outfits work so well with the scenery they become part of it.

    Loved this post and walking down memory lane with you.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne. It's so grey and miserable here I needed a blast of colour and some happy memories to lighten the gloom. xxx

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  15. What a bright happy and brilliant journey you took us on - thanks so much Vix !!!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the trip, Carol! xxx

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  16. I'm having an off color kind of day and this post made me smile. Thanks for sharing Vix.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that, Sam. These short, dark days aren't great for our spirits. xxx

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  18. I must be sad too because I get the same sort of thrill finding something I packed away and forgot-except you find much better stuff!

    Those gauzy cotton fabrics are the best for travel as they wash and dry so quickly. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos-just the thing on a cold, miserable day.

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    1. We're just easily pleased! Rediscovering secondhand treasures beats spending money in some soulless mall! xxx

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  19. love that textile travel diary!! so beautiful and exciting!
    do you count the days??
    xxxxxx

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    1. Textile travel diary! That's a lovely description. I do count the days, maybe I should make myself a countdown calendar as an alternative to an Advent calendar with incense cones and rupee coins behind each window. xxx

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  20. It's probably fortunate that Stephen Squirrel is black and white....he'll stand out in all that riot of colour and you won't pack him by accident!
    Arilx

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    1. I always have to double check a cat hasn't squeezed into my bag! x

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  22. So many gorgeous memories, I can perfectly well understand why you got distracted! Clothes should earn their place in your wardrobe, and the contents of your Indian suitcase have certainly done that, trusty well-loved things. I love the fact that you have such history, both with India and your travel wardobe, and of course that you have been documenting both on your blog for us.
    You look so happy in all your travel photos, and pretty excited to be contemplating your next trip! Loving that floral maxi, and seeing Sir Stephen getting in on the action too, of course! You've done a fab job with prolonging the life of your beloved denim waistcoat too, it looks wonderful.
    Love you! xxx

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    1. Hello love!! Stephen was beyond excited when I cracked open the case although it's probably the funny smell rather than any interest in clothing that appeals. Love you! xxx

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  23. Who wouldn't get sidetracked unveiling the contents of that suitcase, with it's riot of colour and associated memories. I've got no idea how you patched up that waistcoat but what a bloody good job!

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    1. The waistcoat? With lots of swearing, a bright light and my finest reading glasses!! xxx

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  24. That is a magical suitcase indeed! What beautiful photos these are. You certainly look like a happy lady when you're in India. xo

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    1. I'm ridiculously excited already! It's weeks away but I keep bursting into a massive smile and squealing already! xxx

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  25. ohhh so many fabulous memories in a suitcase, and so many lovely clothes!, it's like a dream!
    I think that your waistcoat is a key piece and a perfect layer!. You look gorgeous in every picture when you're in India, that's joyful!!
    besos

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    1. I should open the case and inhale it whenever I'm having a bad day! xxx

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  26. Mmm, nag champa! I love that smell. I used to burn opium incense as a teen and the smell became ingrained in the wallpaper. My friend got some and was instantly transported mentally to my room!

    How lovely to have a travelling suitcase, full of not only wonderful clothes but memories too xxx

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    1. It is a wonderful smell, isn't it? There used to be a hippy shop in town that sold Nag Champa soap, I used to keep an unwrapped bar in my knicker drawer! xxx

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  27. That's such a great way to prepare for a trip, adding items throughout the year. I never know for sure if we'll get a trip, but we're dreaming of going to California to see relatives this summer. :)

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    1. Maybe you could start a travel bag for California just in case you go next Summer, after all you will go one day! xxx

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  28. Over the years I've written everything but lyrics for a ballad, but now, looking at your wardrobe of adventures, I'm hearing a guitar and exotic percussion instruments. Jon?

    I've just re-discovered a brown velvet "Edwardian" jacket in a dark corner of a garment bag, still wearing tags from a consignment shoppe that closed years ago. Eureka! (And now I must dig further, who knows...?)

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    1. His music mojo is back at the moment, I shall drop a few hints!
      Your jacket sounds fabulous Beth. What a grand rediscovery. xxx

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  29. What a great idea, open the suitcase and out pop the memories. You must be so excited, it looks gorgeous in the photos and what better time to go when it's at its most miserable and grey here xxx

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    1. I am excited, Sally! Anything to distract myself from the horribly miserable weather! x

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  30. Oh, how I enjoy all your wonderful travel pictures!
    Love this post!
    Zxx

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  31. I know the feeling of fining something new in your own clothes, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    I also start packing early. It is part of the pleasure of tavelling. The only place I do not pack for is England, just underwear and toiletry in the hope of bringing back 20 kilos of clothes, yeahhhhhhhhh.
    Since we are living on the coast we have found two good charity shops, REAL CHARITY shops, so real that you can see opposite exactly where your money goes, the food restaurant for the homeless.
    I am glad that you are going to your dear India

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    1. I bet you're spoilt in our charity shops! For a few years I traveled to India with only a bikini, sun cream and a pile of paperbacks and bought everything else there. xxx

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  32. Isn't it fun reliving travel adventures via the clothes you wore? I often do that with outfits I wore when I visited New York. You look brilliant in the printed maxi skirts and halter tops, especially when you have your Goa tan! I am one of those people who look better in multiple layers of clothing ;)

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    1. Thanks, Shelley! I'm not designed for Winter dressing. It takes me an age to get dressed on a cold morning! xxx

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  33. What a wonderful, colour-infused, spice-infused post. I can tell we're on the countdown to India. Woohoo!!! Adventures ahead. Can't beat 'em. I'm never fooled by anything mundane in your house, I know there's always going to be a story or a surprise. Were you surprised by how many wonderful blog posts were attached to each outfit? I ended up giving most of my clothes away in Cuba, so there will be no such memories, but I'm fine with that. Shout out to those maxi dresses too, maybe not the most glamorous or exciting garments, but so easy, so comfy, so convenient, which are key points when doing this type of travelling. Are you on a daily countdown yet?! xxxx

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    1. Yay! Tania's back in blogland. That means Cuba posts. Hoorah!!
      Good for you for offloading your clothes to the locals. I do that with toiletries. After a month my clothes are so skanky I think the Indian ladies would give them back to me! xxx

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  34. Well that riot of colour just cheered up a really miserable grey day! What a wonderful memory box xx

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    1. Thank you, happy to be of service! xxx

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  35. How lovely to have a suitcase all ready for your travels, I bet you're getting excited now! xx

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    1. I am, Sarah! on countdown now. x

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  36. How nice to rediscover all your old favourites. It must be lovely.

    I never know if I'll be able to fit into things from one year to the next; if I had a case like yours it'd all be unwearable by my next holiday.

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    1. I love my patched-up, tried and tested, tatty old holiday wardrobe!
      Does your weight fluctuate that much? That must be really annoying. xxx

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    2. Not so much fluctuate as keep on going up and up and up... I even went to my doc about it and had a blood test but my hormones are all fine, there are no thyroid problems. It really gets me down sometimes. Doesn't seem to matter how much I walk or what I eat.

      All that said, I'm the same shape as my mum and nan and they're pretty much indestructible, nan's 88 and got told off by her doctor for carrying sacks of birdweed around, so if I'm like them it won't be so bad.

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    3. Far better to be healthy with fewer clothes! I love the sound of your Nan! xxx

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  37. I'm so excited for you!!! Happy travels (well, happy packing first!)!!! Love seeing the photos again, and discovering some new-to-me, like you sitting against the colorful wall. Gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks, Natalia! Unpacking the India suitcase is almost as exciting as finding a flight! xxx

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  38. I have a holiday suitcase too, full of things I’d never wear in their country, all beach stuff and brimming with memories. This is such a lovely post, I must come back and read all of the linked posts. But, for now back to work! It’s been a lovely distraction though!

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    1. Hooray for holiday cases packed full of Summery clothes and wonderful memories. xxx

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    2. obviously I meant 'this' country. bloody auto correct - now off to read the linked posts... I'm not stalking you today, just catching up having had a few weeks away from my online world...

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  39. I love your Indian suitcase, such beautiful colours and prints and amazing to see the happy memories it brings from trips to India. I love unpacking my holiday wardrobe ready to wear again for another trip. The colours and prints are always so bright! Hope you have a lovely trip.

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    1. Thanks, Ceri! I still haven't packed properly - maybe next week! x

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