Blokes are lucky. Most of the time, they only have to ensure they have their phone, keys, travel card and beer money to survive the day. And a photo of Barry John*.
For women it’s slightly different. Like it or not, travelling light isn’t so simple. Plus, it’s so much easier to enjoy yourself if you’re comfortable and feel good. And yes, I was a Girl Guide and I do believe in being prepared.
There was a freezing fog this night. It was the coldest match I’ve ever experienced. Luckily, I had brought extra layers and a blanket to cover our laps.
If I turn up to a game after a ride, I’ll only have the basics that I fit in my jersey pockets. If I’m planning to be out the whole day, I have a capacious handbag and it’s tempting to fill it up. That can weigh me down, especially when there’s nowhere to place it except on a dirty beer-soaked carpet (yuck) or urine-dashed terrace (no_words).
So, now I’ve made my excuses, these are my essentials, i.e. what I can’t do without:
- Aforementioned (fully-charged) phone, keys, travel card and beer/ticket money (cash & cards). Tip – stash spare keys somewhere just in case.
- Lip gloss and chapstick. For being outside in all weathers.
- Basic make-up for repairs. I find the No7 Smoky Powder Eyeliner in brown a really useful bit of kit (it’s brilliant as eyeshadow and eyeliner and doesn’t suffer if you drop it like set powders do). Mascara. BB cream or similar.
- A small can of spray deodorant – great to freshen up. When it’s freezing outside, some clubs can be unbearably warm.
- Painkillers & a couple of antihistamines – a pesky bit of pain could ruin your afternoon/evening but can be easily knocked on the head.
- Tissues – a small, unscented pack. My eyes often run in bright light and raccoon eyes isn’t an attractive look. Plus there’s never any loo roll when you really need it.
For when there’s a little more space:
- Small emery board – because you don’t want a hangnail to annoy you all day.
- Small tube of Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream. Great stuff.
- Tampon/condom – just in case I get unlucky/lucky. *winky thing*
- Hairband & serum to smooth flyaways. Comb. Because the wind does such great things to your hair…
- Sunglasses. I have a habit of forgetting and leaving these on my head all night.
- An extra layer – something like an Icebreaker long-sleeve, merino base layer.
- My singing voice.
More extreme, to cover inclement weather and going pubbing/clubbing after the game, aka ‘How big’s the handbag?’:
- More layers plus gloves, scarf, hat and socks. If really cold, merino leggings to slip under jeans.
- A ‘going out’ top and alternative pair of heels e.g. a pair of strappy sandals.
- Jewellery to pep up an outfit.
- FULL make-up kit.
- Perfume (my favourite is Angel Schlesser but it’s really difficult to get hold of now).
- A smaller handbag, so I can check in/store the large handbag and don’t have to carry it around.
And then there’s away trips in a backpack:
- Reading/writing material – usually my notebook or Kindle (although it’s rare I get them out as we’re too busy chatting). A pen.
- Extra tissues and hand/baby wipes. Because you really don’t know what the loos will be like where you’re going. Trust me on that one.
- A bottle of water.
- Liquid refreshments of a different kind *winky*, and a corkscrew/bottle opener (nothing worse than staring at a bottle of booze that you can’t open).
- Snacks – sweet and savoury. Nothing too messy, and usually something to soak up the alcohol.
It may sound like rather a lot, but I’ve always found confidence and comfort helps you enjoy your day out even more. Let me know if you think it’s too much, or there’s something you’ve forgotten!
*I confess, I don’t currently carry a picture of Barry John, but have relied on a diplomatic disappearance. I really must rectify this.