Let me introduce you to:

My newest acquisition!

Thanks for all your suggestions on the handbag buying. This wasn’t actually in the shortlist (although the camel version was). But, I love the colour, texture and pocket provision. I decided against the rather lovely purple one as it’s courdroy & so was last year’s purchase.

In case you may be worrying that I have too many bags, have no fear – I conducted a bag audit over the weekend. I’ve rediscovered a rather lovely Italian leather handbag that was a present a couple of years ago and at the same time was able to make use of the rather random Christmas gift my Mum gave me – bags to protect handbags! However, I also discovered that I didn’t have any other bags that I didn’t want to give to the charity shop (they weren’t even exciting enough to give to friends), so I don’t feel guilty about today’s purchase.

Watching The Devil Wears Prada on Saturday, I found a wonderful clip that completely illustrates the importance of handbags. When I was writing this post in my head I thought I’d add it, but sadly youtube didn’t come through for me this time, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

I am rather embarassed that my lunctime trip to make this purchase yesterday actually made me late for a meeting. (Turns out you can’t get there and back in 20mins if there’s a queue!) My colleague also wasted no time in telling people why I was late – great way to look totally unprofessional!

Important decision – help needed!

Forget my maths fried brain…I need some help in an extremely important area of my life:

It’s the Ollie&Nic sale and that means it’s time to choose a new handbag!

I know there are people (i.e. men) reading this who won’t care in the slightest. They may even believe that I have enough handbags. I don’t care and besides, last year’s purchase is dying after 12 months’ hard use.

But I have a dilemma, which one should I go for? The options below are all around the same size and price, I just need to figure out what will work for me best. It’s an important question to get right, seeing as I’m never parted from my trusty handbag!

1) ‘Sullivan Bowling Bag’ (in purple)
According to the website, ‘with multiple options for carrying your bits & bobs this bag will suit the lady who likes organisation!’. Does that sound like me or what?!

2) ‘Prince Tote’ (in camel)
Just looks lovely. And I think (if it’s one I looked at in the shop today) has lots of pockets, which is very important.

3) Eugene Tote (in red)
Lovely, on the large side, with many, many pockets – bonus. Slightly pricier than the others though.

So, what do you reckon? Any suggestions?

How many bags is one bag too many?

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I like handbags. I especially like lovely, decent sized ones and matching purses.

The latest Ollie&Nic sale coincided with a string of birthdays. More importantly, it coincided with my birthday and my sister’s birthday.

A while back (2months ago, to be precise) I identified the next bag that I’d be stalking when the sale came around. Two weeks before my birthday I discovered it was in the sale, so I promptly fired off an e-mail to my sister to alert her to a present buying opportunity.

This opened a pandora’s box of handbags…

Her birthday was on Friday and when I called to wish her happy birthday, she announced that she’d received no fewer than 4 bags from her husband. (This is a man who usually has a “one in, one out” policy for his wife’s handbags and scarves.)

I was impressed. Plus, she’d bought me the bag I fancied, and it was ready to pick up that day. But, she asked, would I mind also picking up a laptop bag that our parents were going to buy for her? Fine. No problem.

Today, I mentioned this on the phone to my Mum and discovered that she’s just bought 2 bags off their website. Obviously, the bag I bought her for her birthday was a catalyst. As long as it’s not identical to any bags I own, it’ll be ok (we’ve had matching mother-daughter bags before which is highly embarassing).

This means that in total, members of my family have bought eight bags in the last week. Is that excessive? How many bags do three women need?

In the mean time, I’m heading back to the shop tomorrow to pick up the rather lovely Budgie book bag. It’s only £5, how could I resist?

Handbag update

I spent a fair bit of January handbag stalking, finally purchasing a rather lovely (if large) new handbag which has received a fair bit of mocking from male colleagues.

Today my sister surprised me with a matching purse! Not only does it match my bag & have lots of space for cards & coins, but it has a bonus feature – it can turn itself into a clutch bag! How wonderful.

I mentioned in January’s post that the bag’s so big that I lose stuff in it & don’t realise when I’ve left things like spare clothing in it. Just a couple of weeks after acquiring it, I opened my bag on arriving at my office & realised I’d left a spare can of cider in it from the night before. (If I go round to a friend’s flat to watch dvds I take cans with me & bring home whatever I don’t drink.)

It was bad enough that in having it in the office, I was breaking a very strict rule about alcohol on Methodist property (in that it’s banned), but even worse when the woman at the checkout in John Lewis spotted it at lunch time! I must have looked like a total alcoholic.

Handbag stalking

It’s my new past time.

There’s a great handbag shop about 10mins walk from my office, whose bags are far too expensive to justify buying usually, but who have pretty good sales. Some friends of mine have been buying Ollie & Nic bags in the sale for years, but now they’ve realised I can go in and keep watch on the prices and stock, I have lists of bags to keep an eye on!

My colleague Andy doesn’t get this. I think it’s probably because he’s male.
Last week I went and for the first time the prices had dropped to a more reasonable level, which caused great excitement because the group of friends who wanted the bags were going to be in town the following day. He laughed at the fact that a group of 6 girls would all be trooping in to a tiny shop to compare bags.

I was willing to bide my time until the bag I had my eye on was the right place. On Wednesday I checked – no luck. On Friday I went again – success. Returned to the office with one bag more than I’d left with. Andy was very amused.

He was even more amused when he saw the size of it. It’s not that big – honest! (The photo’s a little misleading!) But what’s the point of having a handbag if you can’t fit everything you need in it?

There are the essentials:
Purse; keys; oyster card; mp3 player; vaseline; tissues; chewing gum; memory stick; diary; small notebook; gloves/sunglasses (depending on time of year); glasses; pens and of course a book.

Then, the added extras – bottle of water; lunch; small snacks; little Bible; spare socks/tights; spare t-shirt; spare shoes…

And it’s always a bonus if your bag’s big enough to hold a decent size book, like Alan Bennett’s biography or even a hardback Harry Potter.

I remember a one point playing a game in the pub (I was probably drunk) where we had a competition as to who had the most bizarre item in their bag. I think someone with gaffa tape won, no idea why they had it though.

The only problem with the bag is that it’s size means that I can’t always find my purse. Think that just means I should buy the one to go with the handbag that’s also reduced, it’s a lot bigger than my current one and of course will match. Plus, yesterday I went to pay for something in a shop and discovered the t-shirt I’d been wearing the day before – I’d removed a layer of clothes (didn’t go naked!) when I got too warm in the evening. It’s not good having a bag that can hide clothes! Big bonus though – it held 3 cans of drink comfortably when I popped round to a friend’s house and I think could hold at least one bottle of wine. Great stuff.