Thursday, 25 December 2008

Coming home for Christmas

Merry Christmas!
Where are you spending this Christmas holiday? I have to admit I’m a stickler for staying at home for the festive celebrations, as joining the queues on motorways or at the check-in desk of an airport simply doesn’t appeal. This is also the time of year when baggage handling staff can suddenly decide to go on strike, when railway timetables seem to become irrelevant and and cars curiously fail to start. Thankfully, most of my family and friends live close to home.

One of my favourite films to watch at Christmas (in fact any time) is Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The film is set two days before Thanksgiving and stars Steve Martin as marketing consultant Neal Page, who literally bumps into shower curtain ring salesman Del Griffith, played by the late great John Candy - on a trip to Chicago, that is beset by severe winter weather conditions - causing delays, detours and many comically disastrous scenarios.

I bet you’ve exchanged stories with friends about your travels over the years: about times when you’ve been at the mercy of unpredictable circumstances, means of transport, or perhaps just an unusually circuitous-route-taking Sat-Nav device? I remember getting a train back home to London from a trip to Cornwall one Friday afternoon. The train was due to arrive at 7.00 pm at Paddington Station, but due to a series of strangely quirky events – including a herd of cows on the line outside Bristol – I actually arrived back at around midnight. The whole experience was made a lot worse by the fact that half the train, including the buffet car, was uncoupled from the rest of the train and left behind soon after the start of the journey – leaving passengers without food or drink for the duration.

Of course, many people also like to fly away (usually to warmer climes) for a Winter break in the sun. According to Guy Debord, the ‘where’ and ‘why’ you travel in your life, are reflected in your own personal ‘psychogeographie’. French fashion designer, Karim Bonnet, has used this concept as the inspiration for an iconic collection of clothing under his Impasse de la Defense label, available in the UK exclusively at ShopCurious.

I’m not sure if the eclectic mix of arrows, signposts and maps featured on some of the designs would help you to find your way anywhere, but they look really stylish and cool. What’s more, graffiti-style designs are going to be big for the coming season – and these are more original than most.

Have you had any curious or crazy journeys home for Christmas? Do let us know …it might even be rather insightful if you want to learn more about your own unique psychogeography.

Do you?

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