Saturday, 28 April 2018

Where do I stash the brolly?

Hmmm. The last three days of my holiday have turned wet - well, sunshine and frequent heavy showers anyway - and this has shown that my 'small bag' notions are inappropriate for bad weather. I need to carry an umbrella, a scarf, possibly a cardigan, and maybe even some gloves (it's been pretty chilly in the Somerset wind and rain). I can't really put all of those things in my new blue Pittards bag, certainly not the umbrella or cardigan. Even just the scarf and gloves wll bury the other stuff (meaning the basics I must always have with me, such as my phone and comb) so that it's no slick operation to reach in and draw things out when wanted. I might even have to unpack a little. Not cool at the till. And definitely an inconvenience.

The new blue bag will be excellent if it's summer weather and I don't need to carry much around. But it hasn't got the chuck-it-all-in, can-hold-it-all-with-space-for-even-more versatility of the old orange Florence bag. The wet and chilly weather is forcing me to revert to my old friend, when I thought I'd hardly be using a large bag again before next October.

Well this is unexpected. You know how it is with brand new bags. You want to wear them all the time, and put them through their paces so to speak. It's frustrating not to savour that pleasure. But I have to bow to circumstances. Look at this picture that I've just taken in the caravan. You can appreciate the size difference between the old orange and new blue bags. Let's be realistic. Which might in fact be the better all-day bag?

There's another thing. The larger bag has two big inner compartments, and I can organise my things by splitting them between the two. The 'business items' such as Tigerlily go into one compartment, and the miscellaneous items like my comb, lipstick, tissues, scarf and gloves go into the other. The twain never get mixed up. Not true for the smaller bag, which has just the one compartment for everything - which is not unreasonable, but a limitation nevertheless. My larger bag allows for a higher degree of convenient functionality. This isn't a clincher for toting around a large bag all year long, but I have to admit that the old orange bag can cope with any practical situation, swallowing a paperback, water bottle, spare shoes, and little shop purchases with ease. And it has done so for years past. That will never be true for the new blue bag. But then it would never be true for any small bag. It's the nature of small bags that they tend to get crammed full - to the point of bulging - with all the essentials that women need to take with them. What's better? A small bag bursting at the seams and hardly possible to zip up, or a large slack bag that holds it all with space for an elephant too?

Yes, small bags can look sweet and girly and stylish and fun. Yes, they are light to carry and don't dominate an outfit. And for sure, they can be absolutely right if you are a minimalist and can - literally - get away with just a smartphone, lipstick and keys. But real life is not a non-stop stroll across the piazza in Italian sunshine, to meet friends and lunch al fresco. It's England. It's damp. You need something to stash your woolly hat and spare socks in.

Late morning already. Time to set forth. It's stopped raining (for now) and I'm off to Wells for Waitrose and a walkabout. Which bag shall I take? I think it'll have to be the orange one. How else will I carry a brolly?

Back from Wells and it's brightened up. I've popped everything back into the small Pittards bag. A beach walk at Burnham-on-Sea is on the cards.

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