Sunday, 14 June 2009

Handbag shame revisited

A request from West End Mum to display the contents of my handbag. I have a painful but huge fondness for West End Mum's blog, because she lives literally about a 100 yards from where I used to live. We have recoiled in horror at the same club-footed pigeons, shopped in the same skanky Tesco, watched the same drunks emerge from the Fitzroy Tavern. It's a consolation and a dagger to the heart at the same time. On a slightly less solipsistic note, it's a nice blog to read, full of shiny things and corners of London and other pleasing to read ephemera. I recommend.

Regular readers will recall this isn't the first time I have displayed my shame to you.

But I thought it would be unfortunate if anyone were to think that the last display was exceptionally disgusting. It wasn't.

Last time:

This time:

We can identify some common themes: leaf mulch, old tissues, crumpled but doubtless essential pieces of paper, a work pass that does not actually allow entrance to the office because it is one I thought I had lost but then found after Dirk From Facilities cancelled it, one of those sponge tipped things for putting eyeshadow on (theoretically. In reality to attempt to use this would be to risk a near fatal eye infection).

A further common theme, and positive note: same wallet. I have not lost my wallet between then and now! I should get a prize, like, maybe, I could get a brief reprieve from being made a ward of court due to incompetence. No, actually, I would still prefer to be a ward of court and be given €7 spending money a week in one of those money pouches I would be obliged to wear across my chest. Really, it's the only way ahead.

Anyway, I give you my handbag and hopefully a sense of mild superiority that you aren't carrying a mini basketball, 43 expired luncheon vouchers, several expensive lidless lipsticks filled with sand and half of the flora of Belgium on your person on a regular basis. See? I am so very giving.

Do feel free to do the same yourselves, and if you do, let me know where.


M. said...

Brain twin, I give you my still unpacked suitcase.
It will remain in this exact position and state for the next 2 to 3 weeks.

In no particular order, it contains:
- a broken hair brush (broke it on the day I bought it)
- a very pink USB key that can roughly hold half of a spreadsheet
- my very large Pierre Hardy for Gap sandals which I did not wear ONCE (thanks a lot, brain twin)
- Pear Face, my very professional looking orange bag tag
- Côte d'Or aux amandes caramellisées avec une pointe de sel
- Carrefour's bastard replacement of Copaya
- Ye Great Aulde Toiletry Bag of Much Leakage
- Tampons (had to leave the hotel, bleary eyed, to find these at 7.30 am)
- exfoliating gloves that make you look like an extra from Psycho.

Beneath this first layer lie a bunch of bent postcards, crumpled up receipts, some pins, a beer soaked book, and a pair of yellow craft knives.

The glamour. It never ends.

M. said...

Gah. Here is its. Copy and paste, dude.

Irene said...

My handbag contains:

my wallet
my camera
some medication to keep me sane
my bicycle keys
a bus card (the so called strip card)
paper tissues
a map of downtown Maastricht
a folder with expired insurance papers
A work schedule (ha, ha)
Two pens (the both work too)
my mobile phone
my passport (for I.D. purposes)
reading glasses (which I always forget I have with me)
a small clothes brush (which I also forget about)
an asthma inhaler (probably expired)
a box of matches (half of these don't work)
several empty nougat wrappers (I'll toss those out right now)
an empty plastic bag with handles
several used tissues (idem ditto the wrappers)
an old shopping list (may want to use that again)

There are also a lot of tobacco crumbs in the bottom, because when I go out, I add my cigarettes and lighter.

Thanks for this opportunity to clean out my handbag.

Anonymous said...

Nice handbaggage ladies.
I wish I had one, but I don't - all I have is an imaginary mental version, it is shiny shiny transexual red leather, about yay big and contains this:

- pack of squashed macarons from paris
- a pretty japanese battery
- a drawing of a 'nervous tiger on its wedding night' drawn by my sister which is magnificent
- an obamacondom, I saw one of these in wallpaper* and now I want one, so that if I sit in cafes alone I can whip him out and prop him up against the sugar, then we can have one sided conversations about deforestation and other peoples faces.
-travel sized bottle of gin
- emergency cocktail decoration kit: Mini sparklers, Tiny Umbrellas and plastic flamingos - now any drink can become a terribly exciting sparkly piece of specialness - that pint down the dog and duck will never be the same again.
-White rabbit chinese milk sweets
- a framed picture of Pope Benedict
- Small pack of custard creams.

I want a handbag now :-( clutching my imaginary dragbag just doesn't do the trick :(

Incidentally (and I dont know why this comment is so long - apologies) I had a fabulous manbag in a dream the other day, John Barrowman (of of doctor who et al) we travelled into a parallel dimension, met David Bowie in Japan and I shot him for Japanese Vogue, it was fabulous, but alternate, so when John and I had to travel back I tucked my BowieVogue in my manbag, thinking for some misguided reason it would survive the journey across the dimensional void, naturally it didn't - and when I got back to here and now I looked in the bag and it was a copy of vogue, but sans david.

Sharing over. Apologies.

The City Road said...

Tried to resist. Failed.

Man bag contents, disappointed in you smackcrumplebang, was sure you'd have one...

Exhibit A

Bag - Mulberry, fairly trashed and leather worn smooth on the back.
Reading Material - LRB, read about books you'll never get around to reading
Anti-Bac hand-wash - have you used public transport in London recently? A must-have.
Mechanical Alchemist postcard - cool robot art
Persol Sunglasses
Mac OS CD's and cables, oh and screwdriver, for work
Plasters - lots of walking about in deck shoes during the summer
Ferry timetable
Freebee moisturisers from Dior and Zirh - useful, and scores brownie points when anyone else needs skin rescue
Helmut Lang Wallet - pointless as only need cash card and oyster, but it's lovely.
Liberty Card - file under 'essential items'

Have just tipped everything back into it in a heap, so it looks exactly as it did before the photo.

I have been tempted on occasion to ask someone, soon after meeting them, whether I can see the contents of their bag - somehow seemed it would be a test of their trust. Is that too weird?

carolinefo said...

Am very taken with the idea of the imaginary handbag, my actually handbag being boringly similar to those already mentioned.

In my imaginary handbag:

A small, beautifully wrought, pearl-handled revolver;

A Fortuny silk scarf: so many uses - decorative, practical & erotic;

A silver Art Nouveau pillbox, thought once to have belonged to Aubrey Beardsley, filled with Nurofen Plus;

The key to my safe deposit box at Bank Julius Baer in Zurich;

Letters from Hugh Jackman & Patrick Rafter, declaring their undying passion for me (carelessly crumpled);

Tickets to the Men’s Final at Wimbledon.

That will do for now…

Mya said...

I don't have a handbag - but I found an earwig in my sock. Does that count?

Mya x

Is the ball for you, the boys or the dog?

kathycastro said...


Glasses (Not in case. Case is in there, just empty. Useful)
Passport, though the chances of an impromptu international trip from the west coast of the US are about, oh, zero
Two pens and a pencil
Four lipsticks
Last night's cinema ticket (Taking of Pelham 123 -- MUST see, excellent)
Ice cream shop frequent buyer card
Crumbs from the peanut butter Twix that disintegrated before I could eat it last week.

Not too bad today, thankfully!

Mrs Jones said...

Hmm, I feel I need to do this meme with my real bag (into which I can fit a toolbox if I squeeze it) but I ADORE the idea of an imaginary handbag and am massively jealous of Layla's already, but I'm already contemplating my next posting of having spent the entire weekend at two separate English Village fetes - with pictures! To tempt you, I'll just mention that at the bric-a-brac stall at today's fete, I bought a genuine stuffed Piranha and the skull of some small carnivorous animal - result!

Anonymous said...

Mr Road -

your manbag is suspiciously artfully arranged and surely must be disqualified. (wafflemere?)

Am very jealous by it though and thoroughly overcome by your manlyness, may now have to buy manbag and populate it with interesting crap such as mac os cds and stuff.

Like idea of asking people to go through their bags - it slike when someone picks up your wallet and goes through it, theres that flash of violation?


carolinefo said...

So,smackcrumplebang, you're looking to be ... violated.


westendmum said...

You spoil me ambassador Waffle, I knew it wouldn't dissappoint and I have now been rewarded twice over. Did you put it all back again, including the sponge applicator, which of course could be used to clean the sandy lipsticks.

There were semi-naked children running through the Russell Square fountain in the sun yesterday.

screamish said...

I like the useless foreign coinage you carry around too, just for those moments when you're desperately searching the murky bottom of the bag for something to pay the metro.

I thought you were kkidding about the leaf mulch but no, it looks like..leaf

Anonymous said...

naturally layla...

doesnt everyone?

'you're listening to late night eurosmut ladies and gents, lets all rummage in each others handbags tonight and see what goodies we can come up with...'

River said...

After tipping it all out to show us, did you just shove it all back in? Or did you actuall have a cleaning out session where you just put back what really needs to be in there and toss the rest?

Lucy Fishwife said...

Here is mine -
Book for reading on the Tube (as opposed to book next to bed, book in shameful smoking room of shame, book for reading at work, book on sofa arm for reading while Mr F watches Hitler Death Channel.)
Capsule make-up bag which I love and never use.
Pencil case full of perfume samples, one of which, usually the one I like least, will have spilt.
Tiny pointless umbrella which stops approximately a third of my head from getting wet.
Several crumb-filled receipts.
Half a box of Smints.
Four Bic biros in varying states of leakage.
Two lighters, neither of which work.
Oyster card.
Post-It notes which I never use.
A wad of those free "art" postcards they do in bars, which I use as bookmarks.
A leaflet handed to me by some poor wage-slave on a corner which I was too polite to throw away while they could still see me.
24p in loose change.
A small picnic sized Opinel folding knife which I keep forgetting is in there and has caused me countless problems at Customs, and which actually i have never used so WHY DO I PERSIST???


m.e. said...

Rarely carry handbag except to weddings, funerals, job interviews, or the p.o. Got out of habit in 1972 (!), when we moved to Minneapolis, where the favorite pastime of petty thieves in some areas was purse snatching. Here's what's in mine now:

* brochure offering 3 day, 2 night hotel stay in my choice of over 40 popular destinations for opening a checking account with Chevy Chase bank before 8/14/2009.
*timetable for #5 RideOn bus
*receipt from Kramerbooks for $8.45
*receipt from adorable shop, Go Mama Go!, for $4.23...what did I buy there? Oh, I know: incense!
*packet of tissues plus more clean single tissues
*marking pen with indelible ink
*3 dead CI batteries
*2 quarters (50 cents)
*dust and crumbs.

reen said...

I did this a while back and flabbergasted myself:

Today my bag contains, boringly, next to nothing. Yours is far more entertaining! The leaf mulch is a nice touch.

lipsticklondoner said...

my entire world, and all the reciepts in it

GingerB said...

I wish I was more exciting. Even a mini basketball would be better than a burp rag.

ParkEasy said...

I have never done this before, I feel giddy!

Ipod charger
Oyster card
Make up bag stuffed with tampax,
Small bottle of anti-bac (see the city road's manbag)
Lots and lots of scrunkled up tissues. I have to see out of the bus window, so I do a lot of window mopping.
Set of keys for unknown (by me) door
Nearly empty packet of tissues - see above
Lip balm
Packed lunch box
Chin Up Girls - a book of womens obituaries from Daily Telegraph VERY GOOD.
Vegan Feasts cookbook - what's that word that means things that cancel each other out oh-so-ironically? Friendly Fire etc. Is applicable here
Umbrella - also tiny and pointless and doesn't quite work like lucy fishwifes.
Pen lid
Lid of a yoghurt pot

Anonymous said...

6 months too late! Ah well, I have no idea what happened there.

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