The contents of my handbag

I’ve heard men say that the contents of a woman’s handbag is a mystery to them. Well, let me tell you something. They are a mystery to me too. Even the contents of my own handbag puzzle me. Check it out. In my bag I found….

Two books – Pondlife by Al Alvarez (very good) and What Are You Looking At: An Anthology of Fat Fiction (not yet started)

One dark chocolate covered rice cake

3 unposted letters to friends

A pack of hair bobbles

3 plastic shopping bags

5 pens

My purse

Germolene antiseptic ointment

Headphones and a phone charger


A strip of throat sweets

Wage slips from last March, last November and this January

A bill from March 2012

A card saying ‘One in a melon’ and a picture of a melon (who knows why this is in there? Not me)

A copy of a magazine called TTG. (I have never read TTG, have no idea what it’s about and am vaguely confused as to why it is there)

2 hand creams

Red nail varnish (I very rarely wear nail varnish)

2 packs of tissues


7 receipts

Face wash (I don’t know why I would be carrying this around with me)

A pair of big thick mittens I haven’t worn in months

A hairbrush

That bracelet I lost a few weeks ago! Brilliant!

The shopping list I wrote when buying stuff for making a Valentine’s meal

A tea bag

A faux Oyster card holder which in fact has a mirror in one side and a little book of discounts for a nearby hairdressers in the other (I’m as puzzled as you are on this one)

A purple swimming cap which says ‘IRONMAN’ across it. (O, the hilarity. As though putting on the cap might convince people I’m in that category of sportsman)

Elizabeth Arden 8 hour skin cream (probably used it once in the past few months)

5 pence

A map of London’s top ten attractions

An unopened pack of nail files

A loyalty card for a shop I barely go in

3 Oyster cards (no, I don’t know why either)

Some flu medicine


I don’t know, everyone! I don’t know! I don’t know why I carry around so many ’emergency’ things, like the gloves in case it suddenly gets freezing. I should know myself well enough to know that I consider myself far too invincible to need gloves. Why so many receipts? And pens? Surely one or two would do? And a teabag?

O well. I guess I’ll put it all back in my bag and go on as though none of this ever happened. I’m too confused at myself.

17 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alex Jones on March 10, 2013 at 07:06

    Resolve one mystery, created another one for me 🙂


  2. I love reading your posts – they always make me snort laugh. Love the mittens in your bag! [ps – how big *is* your bag?!]


  3. Posted by Our Adventure in Croatia on March 10, 2013 at 10:48

    apart from the teabag (??) and 3 oyster cards (???) my handbag looks quite similar to yours. I used to find old payslips everywhere, in every zip of every handbag. Then I decided I really didn’t need to have them, I shred them the minute I get it, only keep the P60 summary at the year end…


    • Only thing I’d say on payslips is there’s more info there than perhaps you realise. I keep a year’s worth in an envelope. At the end of the year the envelope goes into a shoe box in loft. You can get many years into one shoe box. The reason is that they tell you and others when you started paying into things particularly like pension stuff which the P60 (in UK) doesn’t. A number of years ago I had to prove I’d paid into a company pension scheme BEFORE the company was taken over otherwise I’d lose certain benefits and money because new company scheme had less benefits. They said their computer said one date I said they were wrong and produced payslip to prove my date was correct. They had to pay me because I had actual proof on paper. A friend of mine was made redundant and told he had 20 years payments into the fund. He said no it is 30 years! They said their computer said 20 so he went home and brought back his payslips and they had to give him his money. Other thing is you can keep track of when your tax code changes because P60 only shows final code at end of tax year, not necessarily what you had all through the year. It’s worth thinking about anyway.


  4. What is an oyster card? Is that an English expression or am I just behind?


  5. Posted by pamasaurus on March 11, 2013 at 01:25

    This is too funny! I thought I was bad, but I don’t think my bag is big enough to hold all that! It’s really funny, though, because I have a post like this planned for this week. Great minds and all that, right?


  6. Are you going to eat the rice cake? can I have it?
    You should have taken a photo of the bag because I’m curious if you are hauling around a trunk with you.


    • Only a normal sized leather shoulder bag. But I am clearly very efficient with my space. And you’re welcome to the rice cake. You could make it into finger food pieces to have as snacks at your wedding.


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