Tuesday 3 August 2010


Lillias Campbell Davidson (for anyone just joining us, she was the author of the original Hints to Lady Travellers and the inspiration for this blog) lists the following as the Necessaries of Travel:

Rugs and wraps are essentials as well as cushions, both air and down, an etna, or home comfort, for boiling water, and a hot-water bag.

Medicines of a simple nature, in a medicine chest, are most useful.

Matches and a candle should always be carried…

A filter.

A reading lamp.

A money belt.

A pocket compass.

A railway key.

A soiled linen bag.

A knapsack.

A travelling bath.

A sandwich-box and a flask are needful. Meat or coca lozenges are extremely good. A door-wedge is a great convenience.

I had NONE of these things and yet my suitcase weighed 25kg. It contained clothes (not even that many – I had to buy a jumper when I got to Melbourne), footwear, a couple of guidebooks and a Swiss Army Knife – my nod to Being Prepared

Six weeks ago exactly, the Big Yellow Suitcase and I left Dublin. We travelled together to China. To Japan. To Singapore. To Australia. I heaved it up and down stairs. I lugged it onto trains. Many taxi drivers grunted as they manhandled it into their cars.

Every morning I rummaged through the contents and tried to find something to wear that was somewhat clean and minimally wrinkled. By the end of the six weeks I settled for ‘dirt isn’t that obvious in dim light’.

But now, NOW, oh joy – I have finally unpacked.


  1. That picture really is joyful! We are in the midst of trying to work out what is in all the presses before packing them into boxes and taking them back to Ireland - can't wait to be at the unpacked stage again...

  2. Judicious placement of camel shoes. Also, 'meat lozenge'?????

  3. What does she mean by a railway key? Is it for switching points to allow your own private train to pass? There was a favourable review yesterday of The Railway Children now playing in Waterloo Station; pity we couldn't all go. LTLS could do a representative blog if her studies allow.

  4. lucky you didn't have the bat neither

  5. LTLS could do a representative blog if her bank account allowed- the tickets are extortionate.You could probably buy a steam train for less.

  6. I think a railway key was for opening carriage doors. I'll check.

  7. would a railway key not have been a book of timetables?