Handbag Contents Through My Life

When I was a teen I barely ever even carried a handbag. I liked clothes with pockets which could carry cash and since this was before the days of mobile phones (yes I am THAT old) I could walk out of the door free as a bird. Now I'm rarely seen without a giant bag stuffed full of useful stuff for my roles as parent and business owner.

madmumof7 with handbag

 At uni I did have a small bag and in the interests of maintaining the myth for my children who read this that I have always been a wholesome woman I will only reveal it had cash, my first bank card, my provisional driving licence, makeup and plasters for the inevitable shoe-related blisters in it.

Moving through to my 20's when I was a print journalist, the bag got bigger and I added a notebook and pens plus a dinky little voice recorder for work. I was so proud of that voice recorder. I thought it made me look like a blonde Lois Lane as I pointed it towards the interviewee although tbh in reality it was a total pain to transcribe from it.

I was particularly proud of my NUJ card (National Union of Journalists) and my business cards stating I worked for the Berrow's Worcester Journal, at that time the world's oldest continuously published newspaper.

In my 30's at the height of hands on parenting (as against parenting by text or psychological warfare which is necessary in the tween and teen years) I carried multiple bags with everything a busy mum of babies, toddlers and older might need.

I remember going to a few of those parties where they try to sell you stuff. Don't judge me - My husband often worked away and I was at times desperate for a social life and/or time away from the children.

Whether the host was trying to sell us vibrators, candles, storage pots or face cream they would usually start off with a "break the ice" game and that game frequently was "who has the weirdest thing in their handbag." Apart from that time when one host tried to make us eat walnut whips balanced on the bikini line of other guests who lay on the floor. I've tried to block that from my psyche for my own mental health but it still pops up in my nightmares.

Anyway, back to the weird handbag contents comp. I have won a few of those as I could generally produce at least a moon cup, a tiny Thomas the Tank Engine and breast pads amongst other parenting vitals. Not always fresh and unused breast pads either.

My purse contained loyalty cards for the local softplay place and Costco where I bought industrial quantities of nappies on a regular basis. Oh and a box of those pastries because who can go to Costco and not come away without them?

Nowadays I'll admit my handbag has fewer items to disgust interest my friends but for some reason it's still really large and heavy. It's currently a black leather quite business like Radley bag (a great charity shop find) which has a less business-like fake fur bunny attached to it for me to stroke in stressful moments.

Black Radley Bag

I swap this bag occasionally for a Cath Kidston saddle bag with a long over body strap - a birthday gift from a lovely friend.

I rifled through it today and found an umbrella which is a waste of space as I'd generally rather get wet than use one but I obviously had a moment of weakness and threw it in "just in case."

In fact a great number of the items in my bag are there "just in case."

I still have plasters but they are more likely to be the slightly more effective gel blister plasters which are amazing for new shoes and whining children who have walked with one teeny tiny piece of grit or sand in their shoe until they have removed ten layers of skin and then refuse to walk another step.

I have hand cream, moisturiser, cream for cold sores, lipstick, lip gloss, lip salve, a tiny mirror, tweezers (they should be in everyone's hand bag!) tooth picks which are multipurpose and can be used for cleaning in between teeth, mobile phone ports, dirty nails and more.

I have fabric bags and net vegetable bags in an effort to reduce plastic plus a selection of aluminium straws. I have business cards which delight me even more than the ones from the '80's as they are for my own business as a content creator and curator.

madmumof7 business card

There are usually many many receipts and frequently wrappers from sneaky chocolate bars. If I've been to a PR event there's often those bamboo picks, cake cases and tiny trays from hors d'oeuvres  as I never know where to dump them.

Of course there's always my mobile phone which is my mobile office and my parenting hub. With children who've left home or who are largely independent the phone is vital for the diary, the communication and recording the times we actually spend together.

Nowadays there is one or even two (and sometimes there) pairs of glasses as I'm becoming increasingly reliant on them and my tiny earbuds which are de rigeur on the tube. If I'm working in London you'll usually find my Kindle in there as well. I've even been known to jam my iPad in too as it's great for taking food pics when I'm doing restaurant reviews.

I carry spare meds for my many medical conditions and have a copy of my repeat prescription form  tucked in my purse in case I am taken ill and the paramedic needs a list of what keeps me alive.

I have loyalty cards for pretentious coffee shops, every supermarket in existence and my fave, a membership card for Mandria Football Club in Cyprus which allows me to play Bingo in the local Taverna.
Mandria Football Club membership card

I wonder if I revisit this in ten or 20 years what might be in my bag then? I'm guessing even more meds but possibly fewer cards in my purse as I'm sure that paying by phone/watch/embedded chip will be the norm by then and they'll probably have worked out a less cumbersome replacement for the loyalty card by then too.

I envy those women who walk out like I did at 15 with everything in pockets but I cannot ever imagine a life without a trusty bag.

My main issue is that I love acquiring new ones and can never give away any old ones so unless I finally find the ultimate bag with the right number of compartments and pockets in a style I like which is comfortable to use, I will end up needing an entire room just for my collection.

Now. Let's play the game. If you are viewing this on social media, leave me a comment telling me what is the weirdest thing in your bag!