The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 8 July 2016

Making Stuff (Again)

When flying abroad with all of our backpacking kit, we don’t like to put our Osprey Exos packs in the hold, for fear of rough handling doing damage to the frames. Until now, our solution to this has been to nip to one of the local charity shops and buy a suitable holdall for a few pounds, which then gets ditched at the other end (not in an airport, I should add, for fear of causing a security alert).

On Monday and Tuesday this week we visited twelve charity shops, but not a single suitable bag could be found. What to do if you can’t get hold of a holdall? Well, buy a pair of curtains, of course!

Three pounds got us a good quality pair of pink curtains, and I set to work with the sewing machine. A few hours later I was rather pleased to have produced a large holdall (big enough to accommodate four walking boots boxes, with plenty of wiggle room left over):


I haven’t got any zips lying around and didn’t want to splash out on one for an item of baggage which is going in the bin on Monday, so I made a roll-top closure with ties to keep it shut.

Today we came to pack and discovered that everything bar the two boxes of food would fit in the holdall we bought in Toulouse last year for our return journey. The bag I made yesterday was well-sized for what I thought we were going to be putting in it but far too big for what it actually needed to hold. Fortunately, I had a curtain left over. A couple of hours later, and Holdall Mark II was born, the mini version:


Its size meant the closure had to be done differently, so there’s a roll-top, plus some ties along one edge. I knew, when I decided to hold onto the grossgrain handles off last year’s TGO Challenge Goody Bags, and the ribbon off a box of House of Bruar box of chocolates, that they’d come in handy for something – they came in very handy for making the closure ties.


Such a shame, after all that effort (how many times did I have to retread the overlocker?!) that it’s going in the bin in three days time!


  1. Ship them back home. It won't cost too much and if you really like them then it's worth the cost.