When you go out, what do you take with you and what do you put it in?
Recently, I got this Sativa bag.
I like it a lot. I 100% prefer a shoulder bag to one with short handles you have to hold all the time, because there is no scenario with me in it just standing around looking pretty with nothing to do but hold my handbag. I also need quite a spacious bag because I need to get my specs and phone in it as well as my . . . er . . . well in the UK we say ‘purse’. I think stateside you’d say wallet? But here a wallet is just for cards and folding money; a purse is entirely or partly for coins.
I carry my beautiful mama’s housekey with me always. She’s eighty-six today, and I will never forget the day we needed to get into my father’s house because he was no longer answering the door; he had really gone home. So I always have her keys as well as my own. And the car keys. And a key to another place. A small notebook and a pen. One of those fold-up-tiny nylon shoppers. A hanky. Some lip-balm, a concealer and a lipstick. A tiny fork for travel food – and at the moment until I get round to eating it, a tiny courtesy mint from a restaurant: actually I ate mine but the Badger didn’t want his.
I always choose a canvas bag (the Sativa one is made of hemp) because it doesn’t slip off my shoulder like a leather one. I know you can get cross-body bags, but it never ceases to amaze me how many things I need to do – put the bins out, pull those weeds I spotted on my way out, take the compost – oh, feed the cats again – pick up that litter the wind blew into the path, pack up the glass recycling and put it in the car to drop off, get some firewood in for later, just put that form for the council in an envelope to send off.
All these sorts of things occur to me as I try to leave the house handbagged-up and ready to go – and most of them involve bending and moving, so the bag swings about and drops off me.
Then, when I get in the car – what to do, what to do? I often have passengers and it seems rude to lumber them with my bag – put my bag in their footwell – especially as I prefer driving barefoot (illegal, I know. Sorry) so I often have a solid old pair of size 44 Birkis to stash as well.
So, though I do like my Sativa bag, I have concluded what I need is one of those articles they call a bum-bag in the UK and a fanny-pack in the US. American friends, this is one of the few US expressions that is most unlikely to catch on here. Why? Because in England a fanny is not the entire rump but just the person’s lady parts. A fanny pack would probably be for spare tampax and some hygienic wipes.
Moving on. It would be the perfect hands-free kit that won’t swing round and drop in a puddle when I stop to pull up a few stray willow-herbs along the path, or present a problem when I launch myself into the car.
I did get a very nice bumbag (I won’t call it that other thing) when we were visiting the Badger’s family in Penzance recently. It seemed perfect. FAIL! It’s too small.
But the Badger has a better one – I know, because I borrowed it once. So I have one on order like his. It’s an Eastpak one, and they have avoided the indelicacy of the name entirely by calling it a doggy-bag. It should be coming in the mail any day . . . I'm getting one in navy (they don't have purple), but you can see it better in the grey.
But, what about you? Or maybe you have one of these cunning jackets and don’t even need a bag to go on holiday! Oh, incidentally – I am lost without pockets in my clothes! The clothes I make myself always have MASSIVE pockets, and I love my Lands End fleece gilets that have normal pockets and then what my friend Clare calls a Poacher’s Pocket on the inside too.