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Tuna pouches and my trusty clipboard

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Jennie Gow | 12:32 UK time, Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The last time I was packing for almost a month on the road I had just finished my A-levels and was cramming as many clothes as I could into a friend's backpack that was almost as big as me!

Now, complete with my own suitcase, I have to pack for three different countries and six different shows. That means up to 12 different TV outfits on top of all my normal clothes.

Hmm, where to start? Well, there are some things that come with me wherever I go. First, my earpieces. They enable me to hear instructions from the programme's director, editor, producers and production assistant. If I can't hear those guys, then I have no idea when to start talking, when we're live on air and when I need to get off the grid and hand over to Steve Parrish and Charlie Cox in the commentary box.

Next to be packed is my trusty clipboard, now with a fancy BBC Sport sticker on the back. The average MotoGP has at least one passing move each lap, so maybe a total of 30 in a race. I also need to make notes about crashes and other key moments. For me, pen and paper is the most efficient way of noting them all down.

I am a nightmare for pens. The first thing you are taught as a journalist is ALWAYS have a pen and paper with you. It is a bit like being a Brownie and carrying 10p and a tissue with you for emergencies! So I pack enough pens for me, Matt Roberts, Charlie, Steve - pretty much the whole team. I've even lent pens to riders on occasion if they get pounced on for an autograph and their PR people are not around.

I also have a notepad that I update after each race. It's my little bible. It has all the standings, stats and racing notes in it. I'm on my third for the season and you may have seen it flying across as I got a little over excited while talking to Steve about Ducati's double podium in Aragon. Luckily Mat, our floor manager, was on hand to pick it up and pass it back to me.

Lionel, my Lion mascot given to me at the start of the season, takes 'pride' of place in my suitcase, normally perched on top of everything else. Most of the paddock have some sort of lucky mascot they take with them around the world. Look out for Bradley Smith's little car, which he places by his seat in his garage, next time he's on TV! Randy Mamola's daughter gave it to Bradley for good luck and now it goes with him everywhere.

Bradley Smith celebrates third place in AragonBradley Smith celebrates third place in the 125cc race in Aragon. Photo: Getty Images

Being typically British, I also pack a pot of Marmite and tea bags. In fact, ask most of the BBC Sport team what they take when they're away from home for weeks and it seems that Marmite is pretty high on everyone's list. It also keeps the mosquitoes away. The little blighters apparently hate the stuff. The time I forgot to pack the Marmite for the trip to Mugello I was eaten alive!

My laptop is always the last thing that gets packed. It goes into my hand luggage along with a good book and some trashy magazines.

Oh, and for Japan, a phrasebook and some tuna pouches will also be essential. When you're allergic to milk and don't eat meat, it's pretty tough to find things to devour on the road so I have to make sure I have some food with me just in case. I got through quite a lot of tuna pouches in Germany - steak seemed to be the only thing to eat - and might have to live on them until I get to Australia. And in case you wondered, it is almost the same as cat food, according to my team-mates.

Hopefully this will give you a little insight into our preparation for the next three races. I'll let Steve Parrish give you his expert opinion of what to expect in Japan this weekend in his regular column for the BBC Sport website, while the whole team will keep you updated with events as we travel through the Far East.

Fingers crossed for some great racing - and someone to help me carry my case.


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