Thursday, June 22, 2006

Polar bears, seeds, bags

Svalbard's Doomesday Vault. I'd read about this in the actual news. but I like somethingawful's take on it best.

In other news, I'm going to put my usual, firmly masculine, salt-of-the-earth, eats-raw-chicken-drumsticks-whilst-watching-football-from-the-back-of-a-JCB persona aside for a second and ask: where can I get a nice leather satchelly rucksack sort of thing? Now I'm thirty three, I've decided I want a proper non-studenty travel accessory, that will last a few years, so I might pay a bit more than normal. I even went all brand-y and looked at the Dunhill site, but couldn't find anything suitable, which to be honest was a bit of a relief. I tried ebay, but they're all a bit girly. It's a proper conundrum/mystery/dilema. Actually it's none of those things really, but if anyone has any handy hints, do let me know.

Supposedly there's a shop in Falmouth that has magic Elizabethan leather brought up from a sunken ship, with an army of craftsman out the back who will sculpt any item you want, but I can't find the shop, and in fact may have dreamt the whole thing.

24 comments:

Pashmina said...

Ah now that's an excellent question. I made Mr P buy just such an item last year, but that was on holiday so doesn't really help you.

On the high street I'd try Gap or Monsoon (they have a men's section, you know). Actually Monsoon have a couple of examples that might suit your criteria, and they do mail order as well.

Dunhill stuff is gorgeous but hideously expensive. Circa do lovely leather luggage (stocked at the likes of Selfridge's and the Conran Shop, but don't let that put you off) which is still pricey but if you're in the market for that kind of thing...

For a cheapie alternative you could do worse than the likes of Top Man and H&M, though they're more likely to do canvas or fake leather than the real thing.

james henry said...

Thanks Pash, was rather counting on you... I'm briefly up in London next week so will have a proper shop. Looking forward to that exciting moment where you transfer all your stuff into new bag and carelessly chuck old bag away, like walking out of wearing brand new trainers (paid for obviously).

Billy said...

I second the Monsoon... it's a bit steep in price for me, but clearly worth it.

Oh and I love the idea of wearing it out of the shop!

Heather said...

Why would they put that crazy vault where you have to risk being munched by a polar bear to get to it?

Is that not the continent they keep telling us is going to melt sometime soon anyway? Urgh.

It's all so silly and strange it makes my head hurt.

(ps. walking out the shop with your new shoes on is fantastic!)

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't recommend Monsoon as it's never had any I liked. I've been hunting for one for 5 years since a Canadian I used to work with brought the ideal bloke-bag over with him, all without success.

There's a couple of messenger bags/retro styled ones on ebay that are ok. You have to narrow down the category to cut out the crap though.

Anonymous said...

I can recommend Henry Tomkins Leather - http://www.htleather.co.uk/, all handmade stuff (though sadly not by elvish artisans using magic Elizabethan leather) - it's fairly reasonably priced, and the satchel I got from him a couple of years ago is still the only item I've ever owned that causes people stop me on the street and demand to know where I got it.

Who is this Dave? said...

I bought a nice leather manbag in the souk in a small Tunisian town last year, from the man who made it. I think it may be camel, or possibly goat.

Maybe yak.

Or a big guinea pig.

Anyway, Tunisia's the place for you my lad. Don't you be going near that London-town. Full of nasty diseases it is.

boring said...

www.filson.com makes very expensive but very nice gear that you will not have to worry about anyone else having the same bag. Look under "luggage" then "Travel Luggage"

Richard said...

I just looked at that Henry Tomkins site linked a few posts ago- that's the stuff you want, surely! Then I can be impressed/envious that you've got a better bag than my imported American Army Engineers' one.

Rose said...

Is there some kind of luggage that isn't travel luggage? Presumably, if you've got luggage you're travelling somewhere?

Anyway, Henry Tomkins is very good. A friend of mine has a grogeous travelbag thing that I stroke and covet whenever he appears.

Pashmina said...

Oooh go with the Tomkins, James, they look great.
*adds to bookmarks*

baggiebird said...

I agree with pashmina just popped obto the website to have a look, they're very nice

james henry said...

Well helloooooo mister Tomkins!

He's the winner so far, but I shall have a proper browse about before I decide...

Good work team. I hearts the internet. Also PP is yet to call in, although being a monster label queen, I suspect he will leaf though a back issue of *wallpaper and suggest something lizardy, from Patagonia.

Terri Nixon said...

You didn't dream it, James, apparently there is such a shop, my brother lives in Falmouth and he confirmed it.

Anonymous said...

If you can get hold of it, 'Seeds of Destruction' by Tim Goodwin, a murder mystery set in Greenland and Svalbard, is quite informative and atmospheric.

james henry said...

Ah, thanks. See also: Phillip Pullman's Northern Lights and Tim Moore's very funny travel tome 'Frost On My Moustache'.

cello said...

Mulberry? Mandarin Duck? I'm talking bags not menus.

Terri Nixon said...

Just heard from Jonathan (brother) and he says he thinks that shop is named after the ship that the stuff was recovered from, or it might be called Town Hall Antiques. Anyway, it's next to the brewers yard off the High St, right on the corner.

Pashmina said...

Mulberry! I *knew* there was somewhere else I meant to suggest!
doh.
Their sale starts this week I believe, and there's a branch just round the corner from Selfridges.

Danothebaldyheid said...

I can't beleive you're endorsing tidyman's carpets! I'm slack-jawed and open-mouthed at this startling coincidence, having just rented the first series of Fry and Laurie and watched my way through the first three episodes over the last few days! Considering I've hardly thought about it in 20 or so years its pretty coincidental. (It's mostly bloody good, though occasionally gets a bit lost in verbosity). I love synchronicity!

nanga parbat said...

A manbag? Whatever next, Mr Henry? A cravat? Loafers?

button said...

oh good god,

friend from university science department is going to svalbard next week.


mind you I've always rather liked that roll-top desk of hers.

james henry said...

Now would be a good time to borrow a fiver off her as well, I reckon.

realdoc said...

is the svalbard doomsday vault guarded by armoured bears? I cannot believe there is such a place. Where do you live? The svalbard doomsday vault. How cool is that. (very cool I imagine)