Monday, September 9, 2013

Bags within Bags

Confession: I truly love 'what's in my bag' posts. I find them equal parts gripping and hilarious. I mean, obviously they're ridiculous but, when done properly, I also think they can offer a real insight into the bag carrier. I'm not going to say that I don't enjoy the clutch bag/lipstick/credit card/iphone minimalist fashion ideals but my favourite posts are the more realistic ones. I want to see what is actually in your bag - the ephemera that makes up your daily existence. It tells a story and indulges the hideously nosy part of my personality. I have actually done one of these before but it was eighteen months ago and maybe I've changed and, if not, my bag at least has changed...

So, within my Herschel backpack, as of today, resides:

  • Many pieces of paper: two To Lists, my Young Persons railcard receipt, dead theatre tickets (Edward II - interesting, slightly traumatic production), business cards, about thirty barely used loyalty cards, so many receipts.
  • Foreign currency: Some dollars I will at some point change to sterling and some Sri Lankan rupees that I can't change. Bonus - British loose change.
  • Hand cream: I am so dry. All the moisture, please. Caudalie, stocking present, very delicious.
  • Le Petit Prince notebook: Nearly finished and looking very scruffy.
  • The same crap phone: Because crap phones never break, only nice ones. Them's the rules. Btw, please don't buy this particular model. I love Nokia but this is a piece of shit. It barely works and has barely worked since day one.
  • Moleskine diary: Since clearly I can't keep track of my social life on my phone. Also, if I don't write things down they don't happen.
  • Many pens, plus one Sharpie: What if one ran out? Must have back ups. I may be a pen hoarder. Your pens are not safe around me.
  • Longchamp handbag: Bags within bags! Sometimes a backpack is too much and you want to check it but keep your essentials on your person - bring out the small bag. It also makes important things easier to find in the black hole of my backpack. Purloined from my mother ten years ago and much loved.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art map: I only went to New York eight months ago, it is totally reasonable that I'm still carrying this.
  • Grubby old wallet, Oyster card, work pass, keys.
  • Misc badge from a wedding.
  • Marc Jacobs mirror, Lancome eyeliner, Rosebud salve, Mac lip gloss/balm in unidentifiable colour.
  • Four lipsticks (Nars, YSL, Rimmel, Revlon): Because that is a legitimate number of lipsticks to keep on your person. To be fair, that includes a dark red, a bright red, a pink red and an orange red. I am your go to gal in a lipstick emergency. Those happen all the time of course.
  • Nails Inc. basecoat, Essie Mojito Madness: For doing my nails on the go. This is the perfect green btw.
  • Clarityn, tampons, a chip fork, chewing gum: Sure. Spot the odd one out.
  • Two books (The Known World, The Omnivore's Dilemma): The Known World looks at black slave ownership in the American South and is wonderful and difficult and very interestingly written. The Omnivore's Dilemma is, unsurprisingly, non-fiction about food and eating and I've only just started it but I have been meaning to read it for years and I've heard many good things. Will try and get round to doing a review of both when I have finished them. I always like to have a fiction book on the go so when I read non-fiction that means two books. Also, I'm always very concerned about running out of reading material when I am out of the house. That is a terrifying thought. I'm just going to lay this out there - I don't understand people who don't carry reading material of some description about with them. How? What? I'm baffled.
  • Bling earrings (H&M): Probably taken off during a night off and dropped into the recesses of my bag.
  • WESC x RZA headphones: These were a leaving present from my last job and I love them so much. They are my first foray into properly expensive headphones and it is going to be really hard to go back when they inevitably die. They're comfy, the sound is amazing, the block out all the awful people on the tube...
  • iPod classic, iPod shuffle, spare headphones: My fear of running out of music doesn't run quite as deep as my fear of running out of books but it is still very much present. My proper iPod is just about dead (the battery life is maybe two hours, there is a black line across the screen, you have to hold the headphone connection to get sound out of both ears) but the iPod shuffle (another gift) isn't quite enough. It was great on holiday but 2GB is not enough storage long term. I want to listen to whole albums and podcasts and to be able to choose what I listen to. Still, good as a back up/if you just want some misc sound-tracking.
  • Disposable camera: No explanation necessary.
  • Many packets of paracetamol/ibuprofen: I rarely take painkillers but what if I was to need them??
  • Real glasses (London Retro), sunglasses (Rayban XL Wayfarers for my big face).
Also generally found in my bag: my Dopper waterbottle which looks much less swish than the website would imply but I love nonetheless, some kind of jumper/scarf, my iPad and/or a magazine because WHAT IF I RUN OUT OF READING MATERIAL!?

Rarely found in my bag, to my general irritation: kirby grips (where are they when you need them?), nail files (ditto), an umbrella because I compulsively lose them.

What we have learnt today: I am very neurotic and clearly have some kind of hoarding problem. Possibly the glorious weight distribution of a backpack indulges this too much. Also, you can never have enough reading material. Ever. Ever ever.

So what is in your bag? Are you this weird? Can you carry the minimum instead of the maximum? How do you do that? Will you show me pictures? Fair warning: if I meet you in real life I will probably rummage through your handbag without asking permission. I appreciate that this is a very unattractive habit but I do it almost unconsciously and it is super fun. That's probably not an excuse...

Chuck x


  1. you've reminded me I've lost my brand new brolly :(

  2. That's a whole heap of stuff, you're be in for a worth of pain if you lost all this! Must be heavy. I carry quite a bit for a fella I think, you just never know what you might come up against.

  3. You can totally rummage through my bag if we meet IRL. Typically people are in shock at how little I carry. It's non-Mom syndrome. No gum, no tissues, no asprin.