Friday, October 05, 2012
How do men manage without handbags? Here are the contents of mine. Do I really need all this? I suppose that those who use an electronic diary don't perhaps carry two diaries, as I do at this time of year: the flowery one is this year's and the red one is for writing in details of exciting parties to which I've been invited next year. (No - not so far.)
And men put wallets in their pockets so don't need what I would call a purse - the black thing at the top left. Mr Life copes with not carrying a cheque book because he never writes cheques - and come to think of it, I hardly ever do either apart from to the window cleaner or, rarely, someone to whom I'm sending money. So maybe I don't need to carry it around because I write these cheques while I'm at home.
But obviously I need the little packet of tissues and, occasionally when out, the specs. Then there's the little black shopping bag - useful and not heavy. And the wee notebook. Maybe I could ditch that, since I have a few sticky pad leaves stuck to the inside of my diary for random and temporary pieces of information. But I'm a notebooky sort of person. Moving to the right, there's my old-lady bus pass and my driving licence. I don't really have to carry the latter, I suppose. I seldom break the laws of the road or at any rate not to such an extent that I would be conveyed directly to gaol. (I hope.)
The red thing to the right is a Swiss Army card, with lots of tiny tools which I never use (but might one day, who knows? If I take it out of my bag, I'm sure to do something that requires tweezers to undo.) Below that, there's a stash of old receipts, which I do clear out from time to time and won't put back, and below that, a thing from Sainsbury entitling me to £2-something off my next shop. Left of that, the green thing is my National Trust card, in a little container of cards that I don't need very often, and the black leather thing above, which contains cards I use a lot. Then, to the left, there's my (unsmart, but fine) phone, a comb, a pen (very unusual for me to have one rather than twenty-seven, including red ones which I now never need). And lastly, a very useful folding pair of scissors and a lip salve. It's strawberry flavoured, which gives me the illusion of eating something if I'm out, about and hungry. It also makes me smell as if I've been eating cheap sweeties, but nothing's perfect.
I sometimes also fit in a paperback book.
My handbag is actually quite small. It's black fabric and cost £7 from Marks and Spencer's. I bought it one day as a standby when my regular handbag's strap had broken but it's lasted several years. It's probably not the height of chic. I dread to think of the amount of stuff I'd carry about if I had one of those huge designer portmanteaux into which you could fit a medium-sized baby.
And you? Minimal, kitchen sink or something in between?