I'm going to start my month of confession with the thing that I find hardest to stop buying. I daren't go shopping with my son because should I go anywhere near a bag shop or display, a loud voice from behind says "Walk away from the bags, mother, you do NOT need any more!"
Bags – of any size, shape, colour – small, medium, large, shoppers, travel bags, rucksacks, purses… I have them all! Bags are an obsession with me! It isn’t that I love to look stylish with the latest “must-have” designer handbag (it would take a lot more than a handbag to achieve that!), and whilst I love to look at beautifully designed and crafted leather bags, it is rarely the looks that will tempt me to buy (especially if the price tag is equal to that of a small car). The underlying motive is more psychological! I like everything to be nicely organised and in its place, and know that I always have what I need with me, so I must have a bag that suits the occasion in terms of stuff that I have to take with me rather than to match whatever I am wearing. There is the general stuff that is normally required to follow me around – purse with cash and cards, iPhone, keys, tissues, reading glasses, distance glasses, lip salve. Then there are a huge number of items that may or may not be required, and which usually ends up coming with me – iPad, lipstick, perfume, mirror, pen, hand cream, note book, toothbrush/paste, spare carrier bag, tape measure, loyalty cards and bits of papers with “offers”, memory stick, fold-up umbrella, and, depending on the weather, fold-up mac, hat, gloves… There are also the other pointless articles which seem to sit lurking in the bottom of the main bag that I am using at the time, and only come out when the whole thing is emptied into a new bag. It wouldn’t be so bad if there was only one of each item, but somehow the articles seem to re-produce– my current work bag (large, black, Radley briefcase style), has no fewer than 4 lipsalves, 4 lipsticks (of various colours – I wouldn’t mind, but I hardly ever wear it!), 2 pens, 3 sets of ear phones, 2 half-eaten packs of mints, some throat sweets (loosely scattered…)various feminine hygiene objects. I could go on, but I don’t have the will to dig any further into the murky depths of my bag.
The thing is, much as I LOVE having the right bag with everything neatly placed – multiple compartments are a must! – I absolutely HATE carrying a bag! Yes, I can’t bear to walk anywhere with a bag over my shoulder, on my back, or, worst of all, in my hand! Thus I have a quest for the perfect small, cross-body bag, with multiple compartments, that functions a bit like Mary Poppins carpet-bag (only a LOT easier to carry). I have a number of these, and I take them with me INSIDE the bigger, dump-it-all, bag. This has all the essentials for my lunchtime walk to the shops, allowing me to walk without being dragged down by the weight of a heavy bag. At least, on the way TO the shops! By the time I have wandered around M&S food department, my walk back is not so unencumbered!
In an attempt to shame myself into having a purge, I took pictures of my bags. These are the main bag/purse that I could lay my hands on – I haven’t yet started snapping the travel bag collection. It is most definitely time for another visit to the charity shop and perhaps some therapy to help me get over my bag addiction!