What's new with Janey
11 April 2005

Handbags and Gladrags

Spent the whole night getting all the clothes out to get packed for London this weekend. Ashley seems to need five ..yes FIVE different handbags and no doubt six pairs of shoes.

I remembered my first handbag when I was twenty. It was big and square and black hard leather.

I got it from my husband as a present and on that first night taking it out back in 1981 as we went for our wedding anniversary, I had no idea what to put in it. I never owned a purse, (my husband carried the cash),I didnt smoke or carry pens or a diary. I had no make up ( never knew how to wear it). I never had keys ( again -husbands job).

I stood in our wee flowery wall papered bedroom and looked around for something to put in my bag to weigh it down. So I found a pair of heavy metal pliers!
Yes!- old red plastic handled pliers was what I put in my bag to give it some bulk! I sat in that old Indian restaurant in Sauchiehall Street, eating curry and chatting away to my husband and every now and then I would look at my new leather bag and naturally feel the need to look inside it and the smell of new leather would envelope me, then I would giggle as I saw the old dirty metal pliers sitting there alone.
All these years on and I have TOO MUCH SHIT in my handbag and at some point I am going to need pliers and wont have them!

I told Ashley this story and she just stared at me and said “You had absolutely nothing to put inside a lovely new bag but tools? You couldn’t have put a tampon or a magazine or pen or paper or maybe even a handkerchief? You had to put in pliers?”
I smiled and nodded.
She had her first leather bag at five when she went to school, it was a fee paying school and everything had to be just right.
Her first real adult handbag was Mulberry. She collects them, I collect pliers.
She never had to use tools, she has good taste, she has never had to peel explosives from a wall. I have. I may need pliers!_