Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Well, it was interesting to read your responses to the £795 handbag. Of the eighteen responses, sixteen boggled along with me, one had expensive-bag leanings and one, Linda, saw beautiful bags as craft items which are well worth the money. And I do see her point of view. It’s just that bags do nothing for me personally. Nor shoes. Nor clothes. Though I do like cloth, its colours and patterns and textures, and artefacts made from cloth.
It’s made me think about what I’m happy to spend money on and of course I do have my extravagances. Holidays, for example. We don’t go on terribly expensive ones, but they do cost more than that handbag and yet we manage to justify them to ourselves. The garden… I don’t spend hundreds at a time, but over the years it’s not been a cheap hobby. Maybe handbags feed some people’s souls as my garden does mine. And I do like pretty objects – as I said in a recent post, our house is not without stuff. If someone made me spend £795 or more on an object (and if I had anywhere to put it) I might buy a craftsman-made chair or table, a piece of antique furniture or porcelain or glass or a picture.
Last year when we were in Devon – it’s confession time - we bought a very expensive painting. Above you see a really rubbish photo of it. I must get Mr Life to take a better one Anyway, I absolutely love it. As you would be able to see if I had a better camera or possibly knew better how to use it, you feel you can reach out and touch the bowl, eat the cherries. I know some people would see this as too photographic, but I much prefer this to the sloshy-slosh school of art.
This painting cost – well, not twice the handbag, but not far off. I justified its purchase by thinking of all the birthday money my parents have given me for years that I haven’t spent. But while this is true, no one could say that we needed this picture. I wanted it. Not the same thing. And there are people starving in the world as I am only too aware.
So there we are. I suspect that a lot of the people who were of my mind about bags may have their own extravagances. Material stashes, anyone? Cats or dogs with the food/injections/insurance/beds that go along with them? Cars? Flowers?
Just as I was about to publish this last night, Daughter 2 phoned to say that she and her actor chap have got engaged. We're glad she's happy but we wish he had a steady job.