Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Mary Poppins Bag

Leaving the house in a torrential rainstorm this morning, I was negotiating both the bag on my shoulder with trying to put up my umbrella. This backfired on me, because as I opened the front door, umbrella poised, my friendly local bin man stepped right in front of me, whistling as he dragged my wheelie bin up the street. "Been singing have you, love?" he asked me, chuckling all the while. It was at that moment that I performed my usual trick. Having just unlocked the front door to get out of the house, I had then thrown the keys into my handbag, completely forgetting that I would need them in order to lock the door behind me. In all honesty, I can't explain why I do this; I suppose it's just one of those cognitive short-circuits. 

The thing that irritates me beyond belief, however, is the fact that in the space of ten seconds, my keys have somehow wriggled their merry way from the top of my bag to the very depths within. Still juggling the umbrella, I fumbled around unsucessfully for what seemed like an eternity before my fingers closed around the jumble of cold metal.
I'm afraid that I'm not usually the lightest of packers, and as a consequence, the bag I hoist around on a daily basis contains all the necessaries for pretty much everything barring nuclear war. This, I suppose, is my biggest problem, but I never seem to learn. It's one of those frivolous but nagging questions: why is it that whatever I might need from my bag is always the very thing that lies (smugly) at the bottom and just out of reach?

My grandmother has a name for her handbag. She calls it her "Mary Poppins Bag", and if you saw the things that come out of that bag, you'd know that she's right! The concept of a bottomless bag; smaller in outward appearance than internal capacity, is an appealing one. Everything could be fitted into it without problem, and just like Julie Andrews, we could  happily trip down the street with it, as it would magically be as light as a feather. Just yesterday, I complimented a work colleague on her new bag. "Oh this?" she said. "Nice, isn't it? I hope it's going to be my Mary Poppins bag."

I wonder if I wished really hard, my umbrella might let me fly?

Mary Poppins Purse Still Life photo by me.


  1. whistling through the sky under an umbrelaa would be a much better way of getting to work than the tube. sadly, I, like you have the capacious handbag without the flying abilities!

  2. Hahaha, my son would call it a Tardis bag (if you're familiar with Dr Who). Unfortunately mine seems to be a "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-and-therefore-I'm-extremely-heavy-and-cumbersome" kind of bag... If you know the trick to scale down, please let me know ;-) Very funny post. Love from London x

  3. Hannah- Believe me, I'm taking full advantage of it while I can! Capacious is a great word...makes me think of The Importance Of Being Earnest!

    Mademoiselle Poirot- Hahaha! Tardis bag is a very apt description too! Mine's also heavy. I swear one shoulder is lower than the other as a consequence! x

  4. Laura -
    You are right about what can happen to the shoulder from carrying a too heavy bag. I think the same happened to me. Work out a solution pronto or you will have back trouble later!
    Even though I look for solutions I'm still always searching for things. I bought 3 pairs of reading glasses and they all seem to end up in the same place!
    Hope you're having a fun summer -

  5. I try to carry a small bag (to avoid shoulder pain) and I still have trouble finding my keys, even on a perfectly sunny day!

  6. Catherine- Nice to see you back! I hope you've had a wonderful holiday. I'm having a lovely summer with exciting plans! I'm trying to pack my bags more sensibly these days, but the bags I use for work always get weighed down with interminable amounts of stuff!

    Ingrid- There is something about keys in even the smallest of bags. I once lost my keys in the ripped lining of a clutch bag!