PACKED LIVES; Christian Seely, 35, is managing director of Quinta do Noval the port wine company

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The Independent Travel
"I'm the fastest port wine shipper in the world since I'm the only one in that category to run in the Bordeaux marathon. I always take running shoes and sports kit round Europe and the US. Keeping fit is my antidote to a working life of heavy lunches and dinners.

I travel with just a trolley case superbly packed by my Portuguese wife. Before I married, I packed as I left for the airport. Now it's done the day before, neatly arranged down to cufflinks and hangover cures.

In the case go one and a half shirts per day; I have to allow for wine spills at tastings. I always wear bow ties; they travel well between the pages of a book and are perfect for tastings where dangly ties get in the way when spitting wine out. My luxury is a Timothy Everest tailored suit that looks uncreased even after sleeping in it overnight on the plane. I take a hat to suit my mood, usually the wrong type for my destination climate.

I have a marvellous travel shaving kit from Jermyn street with brush and shaving stick in little tubes that give a proper shave. Laptop and modem go along plus an essential little kit that converts them to international telephone plugs; something no computer shop sells. I have a mobile phone but as I'm embarrassed to receive a call in front of anybody it is switched off except in the privacy of my hotel room when it isn't really necessary.

A good book - currently Balzac's La Comedie Humaine - is selected for occasional evenings when it's good to stay in the hotel room with poached egg supper and a glass or two of Noval 20-year-old port.

The most weighty things are bottles of port and the wine I buy to take home. I took a bottle of 1966 Noval Vintage port to China which I decanted and drank with wine friends on the Great Wall. Small 20cl bottles of Old Tawny port make good presents and sustain me on the road.

An essential good luck charm that never leaves my pocket is a silver collapsible corkscrew. Another is a four leaf clover I found in a Norfolk field a week before I joined Noval.

Living in Portugal, I miss good Stilton so stock up on Cropwell Bishop five pounders and from Portugal I bring bacalhau - salt cod - for friends. I put them in the overhead airline locker on the opposite side of the aisle and disassociate myself from their pungent smells during the flight.

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