Welcome to my Work Every Day Carry!
The bag itself is a Tom Bihn Pilot, which has recently replaced a Synapse 19 backpack. I still use the backpack to tote my kit around for hot yoga practice, but the Pilot is slightly smaller and a more “businesslike” option. The material is “Nordic”, blue 400 denier Dyneema/Nylon ripstop, and it’s lined with similar fabric in a lighter weight in a colour called “Solar”. The strap is the Tom Bihn Absolute Strap, which has a stretchy neoprene-covered pad – it’s non-slip, so it helps keep the bag secure on a shoulder, and the stretch also acts as a sort of “sprung suspension” for the bag. With a small bag like this one it’s not strictly necessary, but I find it really comfortable to use. The strap can be detached and used on much heavier bags, and makes them a lot easier to handle.
And the contents:
Apple Macbook in a Cache. This one is an early 2007 black Macbook upgraded to 4GB RAM and a 320GB hard drive – it can only “see” 3GB of memory, but having matched memory modules allows it to interleave memory access and improves performance. It’s running Snow Leopard and cannot be upgraded past that version of OSX. It’s getting a bit geriatric but still meets my needs at the moment despite being positively prehistoric in computer equipment terms – this is something I love about Mac kit, they just keep on going. The Cache is a thin foam and neoprene protective case designed to fit in the Pilot perfectly, which can be clipped in so it will slide out but stay attached to the main bag for trips through Airport security.
Filofax. This one is a Filofax Portobello A5, which has 19mm rings making it a bit slimmer and lighter than the average A5 Filofax. I don’t use Filofax refills – the paper is mostly Rhodia, either the Rhodia bloc pads (white with grid), R by Rhodia pad (ivory) or pages from a Rhodia meeting book, all of which are A5 and perforated to allow easy removal of the pages. I take the pages out (they are slightly smaller than A5) and punch them myself for the Filofax using a KW-Trio adjustable 6-hole punch. Life is too short to write on bad paper…
Pens. Clipped to the Filofax we have a vintage Parker ’51’ aerometric-filler fountain pen and mechanical pencil set which is at least a decade older than me. The pen has Sailor Sei-Boku blue-black nanopigment ink, which is waterproof once dry. There is also the little green modern Pilot Prera fountain pen, filled with Diamine Apple Glory green ink.
More pens. Being a bit of a fountain pen fanatic I like to have multiple writing options. Here we have a flock lined metal spectacle case, containing three pens from my collection: a Stipula Suprema Nuda (transparent, also known for historic reasons as a “demonstrator”), with a titanium nib, filled with Montblanc Racing Green ink; Omas MoMA (3 gold rings on the cap), 18Kt gold nib and filled with Pilot Iroshizuku ink in Asa-Gao (Morning Glory Blue); and a somewhat funereal “stealth” pen, a Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black, all black with black chrome fittings, a black titanium coated 21Kt gold nib and filled with Sailor Kiwa-Guro nanoparticle carbon black ink – another ink which is waterproof when dry.
Water bottle. This one is a Sigg Steelworks 400ml swingtop “vintage” model with a carabiner attached via a ‘Chums’ bottle carrier loop. I have 4 of these bottles, which are discontinued – I find it the perfect size and love the swingtop – it works like an old-fashioned beer bottle. This lives in the centre front pocket of the Pilot bag, which is designed for a water bottle and has a drain grommet at the bottom in case of leaks.
Glasses in case. My Rodenstock rimless specs, which are definitely getting a bit antediluvian now. They’re fitted with Hoya 1.71 index aspheric plastic lenses, which are getting a bit tired with age. The high index lenses mean I don’t need to worry about dents forming in my nose when I have to wear them, despite a prescription of -5 and some astigmatism. Rodenstock don’t make these frames anymore, which is a pity as they’re the most comfortable pair I’ve ever had.
Reading glasses in case. I’ve reached that point in my life where something called ‘loss of accommodation’ kicks in, and it’s a real pain. If I have to read something really small, or read for extended periods, I occasionally need these. I wear them over my contact lenses – they’re Foster Grant “Le Carre” ready readers, in a +1.5 dioptre strength. I can feel varifocals coming on sometime in the next couple of years.
Spare contact lenses. They live in a Muji aluminium card case, which holds 3 pairs in their little sterile pods. The lenses themselves are weekly extended wear Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism, which are superb.
Paracetamol capsules. To head off headaches. They live in the little black Muji pocket with the contact lenses and also with…
Zomig tablets. For migraine. Urgh.
Hand moisturiser. This is a little tube of L’Occitane cream which seems to suit my skin. In winter I suffer from terribly dry, cracked hands, this is to try to fend those off if I remember to use it!
Sunglasses in case. This case is actually carrying two pairs of sunglasses from my collection of Oakleys – here we have the Whisker in black chrome with G30 lenses (rose tint, designed to improve contrast for golfing… but I find they are pretty good for wearing in the office to damp down the dreadful headache-inducing fluorescent lights) and my C-Wire 1.0s in titanium with the rather rare Emerald Polarized lenses. The precise selection of sunglasses in the bag changes on a regular basis as I rotate through my collection on a whim, or depending on what the weather is doing. The little tags are labels so that I can tell which pair is which in the drawer because the bags are all black.
Bits bag – this is a Tom Bihn 3D Clear Cube, and contains the various bits of necessary detritus. There’s a power brick for the laptop (with a shortened mains lead); an RSA token for logging into work; a 3G ‘dongle’; a 32GB memory stick (Lexar, I think); an iPhone charger lead (this one’s been chewed by one of the dogs so that the wires are visible, but it still works for now at least…); a spectacle screwdriver; some earplugs of the soft foam variety; and a metal teaspoon.
Last but by no means least… some teabags. I’m a bit picky about my cup of tea, and when at the office I get very annoyed with the awful quality of the tea available (the water is terrible too, but can’t do much about that…) so I take my own teabags so I can get a cup of something which doesn’t taste like dishwater!