An Ode to my MacPac…

As I was recently rooting around in my loft for something, I found my big macpac, and realised I’ve had it for 10 years this year. It’s the best rucksack I’ve ever bought, it has a lifetime guarantee, and it’s EXTREMELY well-made, so I thought it was worthy of a little shout-out.

I bought my matching big and little macpacs in 2007, before going to Nepal for a year.

My big macpac has gone with me to Nepal, India, Malaysia, Singapore, France, Liverpool, South Sudan, India again, Nepal again, Kashmir, Oxford, the USA, The Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Iraq, Jordan, Canada, USA again, Australia again, Senegal, Kenya, Iraq again, and Senegal again.

Other than an unfortunate incident once where my Big Mac got ripped in an airport and needed to be patched (I sent it off to macpac and they fixed it up and shipped it back to me), it has held up remarkably well! In Nepal I used to keep it empty under my bed, but padlocked as my passport was in there, and when I lost the key, I had to beg the locksmith to cut through the padlock carefully not to damage the zip!

It’s incredibly comfortable, exactly the right size, and I love that it unzips like a proper suitcase instead of rooting around in a normal rucksack. I also love that you can fold in and zip up the straps when checking it in at airports so they don’t get damaged en-route.

My little macpac has gone with me EVERYWHERE in the last 10 years. It’s literally my everyday bag, it carries my laptop into work everyday, it goes with me on mini-breaks and weekends, and in addition to all of the countries my big mac has been to it has ALSO been with me to Qatar, Madrid, Italy and Switzerland!

Obviously daily use for 10 years has left my little mac a bit grubby, but considering what it’s been through, it’s holding up INCREDIBLY well! It’s even still mostly waterproof, as I learned after a can of tonic water exploded inside it once in the Philippines…

This little bag goes with me pretty much everywhere, is still sturdy and comfy after 10 years, and it zips onto the front of Big Mac (although I hardly ever do that).

So, all in all, as a fairly frequent traveller, I give these bags 10 out of 10 and highly recommend them for your travelling adventures.


The stage before the stage before the 1st Stage…

So, as many of you will have read about in my first adoption post (Day 1….), I have officially started my journey to becoming a parent, and yes, I plan to document it all here for you, my lovely readers.

I have initially thought that there was a 3-step process, based on my research. The first stage takes about 2 months, and involves some initial interviews, a bit of basic training, and criminal records checks etc. Then the second stage, the home study, takes around 6-8 months and involves extensively poking around into every conceivable part of my life to look for holes or skeletons, talking to my friends, neighbours, employers, bank, mortgage lenders, etc. Then if you make it past that stage, you are “approved for matching” – and matching is the 3rd stage, where you and social workers try to match up approved adopters with children needing families.

So having spoken to the adoption team on the phone, attending an information day, and doing lots of reading, I assumed that my initial interview was the official start of Stage 1.

Turns out, it wasn’t. Continue reading

“Look at my bad knee” – A story by Maya

Chapter 1 – The Crunchy Sound

Once upon a time, Maya’s knees started to make a funny noise.

It was a crackly, crunchy sort of a noise, like the sound of scrunching up paper or tin foil, or crushing cornflakes up in your hand, and it happened every time she went up stairs.

Maya was worried about the strange noises, so she went to see The Physio, who told her she had under-developed glute and thigh muscles which were causing the problems in her knees, and that her knees had started to twist inwards in a way that could be described as “not good”.

Maya “So you’re saying I have a lazy bum?”

Physio “Well, yes, basically. Here are some exercises you need to do to strengthen your bum.” Continue reading