What’s in my handbag

The inspiration for today’s post is derived from the lovely Tea Stains, who shared this meme yesterday. (It was mutually agreed that this was inspiration as opposed to theft.) As I love handbags and am also known to store a ridiculous quantity/variety of things within its folds, it seemed like an interesting thing to share.

(Sorry, I realise that ‘interesting’ is indeed subjective and many of you will simply find this tedious.)

Here’s the bag:

Unusually (for those that know my handbag taste well) this is not an Ollie & Nic purchase. In fact it’s a cast-off from my mother. I originally bought this bag over three years ago from Accessorize and my mother liked it so much that she acquired the same one (this is a common occurrence). Mine developed a fault so I returned it. This summer, mother was in London and purchased a new O&N bag so this one was surplus to requirements – never one to let a handbag go to waste, I adopted it and it’s been an excellent addition.

The best feature is its numerous pockets – all of which are sensibly designed (lots of zips) and in great positions. Very important for easily accessible oyster card and key storage. Plus, it functions both as a shoulder and cross-body bag, fantastic for keeping hands free for other activities (like phone or beverage holding).

It’s these pockets that enable me to carry so much useful stuff around. So much stuff that I had to take two photos to get all the contents in. This is solely what’s in the front pockets:

1. Hand wipes & moist toilet tissue [Leftover from summer festivals.]
2. Antiseptic hand gel
3. Gum
4. Rose Vaseline & lip sun block [No idea why I have both.] Assorted lip-glosses.
5. Eye drops
6. Memory stick
7. Hand cream
8. Oyster Card & Railcard
9. Keys [With photos of children who are now 5 years older than they were then.]
10. Suncream [That can probably be put away now.]
11. Pebble [Discovered in pocket I’d forgotten about, will now go in pebble collection.]
12. Hands-free lead for phone [Essential for radio listening on the walk to work.]
13. Assorted pens
14. Moleskine diary
15. Notebook [Paperchase] for spiritual matters
16. Notebook [Barnes & Noble] for driving notes and draft blog posts
17. Class time-table for Pineapple dance studios
18. Tiny notebook for calorie counting

Bored yet? Here’s the contents of the main bag:

1. Phone [Ancient and to be replaced by a beautiful iPhone 4 asap.]
2. O&N handbag purse (from old handbag) containing feminine things.
3. Spare keys [I’m a little paranoid.]
4. O&N purse [Love it – red, leather, clasps – beautiful.]
5. iPod
6. Hypo-allergenic plasters [Am allergic to all others.]
7. Glasses case
8. Child snacks – raisins, Chewits – for low blood-sugar moments
9. Nail varnish [Leftover from Greenbelt in case of chipped nails.]
10. Alpen bar [See number 8.]
11. Umbrella
12. Camera
13. Big Words Trivia Game [Birthday present put into bag for transportation but hasn’t quite made it out yet. Comes in handy at random moments though!]
14. Price list for waxing salon
15. Menu from Saturday’s restaurant [For choosing food before getting there!]
16. Google map for an art show I went to over a month ago
17. Current read [jury’s out so far].
18. Free copy of G2 [Loving this, second day running it’s been handed out at the station.]
19. Water [Essential.]
20. DVDs – Party of Five and Mad Men [Was in my laptop bag, but didn’t want to leave them at work – that was three days ago…]

You’ll be pleased to hear that this has made me realise just how much tat I lug around with me on a daily basis. I will try to economise when I buy my next bag (imminent purchase) and perhaps have a clear-out once in a while, but I’m not ashamed of my large bag. Quite frankly, I’m pretty sure if I’d been carrying my regular bag, I probably wouldn’t have been mugged at New Year. And on that happy note, I’ll leave you to get on with your day!


  1. Fantastic. No not remotely bored. I love looking inside people’s handbags… So I’m nosey and I love wallets and bags (I’ve just been over to search Ollie and Nic’s website: very nice.)

    Do both these bags go everywhere?

    I love the optimism of sunscreen! And I’m slightly worried that everyone’s bag I’ve looked in (a couple on Facebook) had antibacterial hand gel in them… Perhaps I should put mine back in.

    Thanks for the link.

  2. Actually, it’s just the one bag (lots of pockets/sections) and yes, it goes everywhere! I did manage a tiny handbag when I flew to Ireland, but I couldn’t have coped for more than a few days!

    That size sunscreen was also genius – just right so I always had it with me. That’s the 2nd one I’ve got through this summer. (And today it’s 24c, so could’ve been useful!)

    Glad you’ve discovered O&N – they have fabulous sales and are currently running a handbag design competition that’s got me going creatively.

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