Monday 31 March 2014

Things I catch myself wondering

From the 'cool story, bro' files, the other day, as I was skim-reading Michael Lopp's exhaustive advice for the beleaguered frequent international flyer, I found myself wondering if the life-hack your packing advice and artfully arranged photos of suitcase contents are a contemporary phenomena, one of those quirks that will be looked back upon my our descendants in bepuzzlement.

Then I thought - no. Surely wealthy men of parts embarking on their Grand Tours had packing advice. (I doubt they made watercolour sketches of their trunk contents though.) And then I remembered one of my favourite lists ever, from the Hand-book for intending emigrants to the southern settlements of New Zealand (1849). Here clothing and linen lists are set out for the Husband and the Wife, in minimalist and maximalist versions, from tablecloths to pea coats. Unfortunately there's not a good image of the lists available online, but Te Ara has a digitised version of the book's opening pages.

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