If I'm picky about what I carry in my pockets it stands to reason that I'm going to analyse the things I take when I travel. Packing should not be difficult but it is. I'm travelling solo on the train and the only thing I'm actually worried about is the annoyance of bags. I'm carrying computery stuff, which needs to stay with me, and that kinda means no sack the size of a hippo that won't comfortably fit on my lap if the carriage is packed - which it probably won't be, but these are the things I worry about anyway. Public transport is uncomfortable enough without lumpy luggage to contend with.
I also feel that I can and should be able to travel light, even for five days I don't need that many clothes, and given that I'm staying with family I can easily wash clothes while I'm there. So I only need the very basics, right? Sometimes excess is a safety blanket - but it's not like there's any disaster I couldn't handle in my mother's own house. The minimalist in me has high expectations, but part of me is screaming "TAKE EVERYTHING!".
So for five days what do I need? Will I need my MacBook? Strictly speaking no I won't need it, but I would like to take advantage of some of the time I'll inevitably spend alone to do some writing. My mother has a pretty awesome conservatory overlooking the garden that should be ideal for low-distraction writing and man do I have tons I could be getting on with. My iPad will also be going for social and entertainment purposes and also means I won't have to take any books (the majority of mine are digital now). Perhaps the irony here is that these few items comprise most of my material life - with them I can solve most sub-apocalypse disasters. I'm a little thankful that I'm spoiled by having music, movies and books in my pocket and at the tap of a finger; there was a time when you'd have to choose which CDs to take with you. Imagine not having ten straight days of audio for your five day trip!
So my gadgets, a can of deodorant, my toothbrush and a couple of days worth of underwear and t-shirts. The real challenge is: can I fit it all in the one small bag?