THE BAG CHALLENGE

Dear Friends,

It’s been very difficult, but I’ve finally chosen the five bags that best represent my success as a bag collector.

From left to right:

1) My newest bag (not that I have favourites, of course!) is a gift from my friend Michele, and I am really excited about sharing it with the world.  I love the colour, and the size is fantastic for days when I go to yoga, then on to work.  Plus the fox is, well, foxy.

2) This handbag has been a steadfast for the last few years.  It’s particularly good for walks on the beach in Norfolk, since it has room for a water bottle and snacks, plus sensibly-sized zip pockets for valuables.

3) This holdall brings fond memories of Saturday afternoons at the RAD in Battersea.  I bought it with store credit when another bag fell apart shortly after purchase.  I am, after all, known as “the woman who breaks bags”.

4) My friend Frances encouraged me to buy this blue leather handbag and it always reminds me of her.  It also helps in grown up situations, since it makes me appear less disorganised and teenager-y.

5) A fabulous laundry/shopping/carrying big stuff bag, from Lakeland Ltd.  It matches one of my best cake tins and was a birthday present last year from my sister and her family.

Please note that I have included bags that look a bit dirty or old.  To only present my bags to you in their very best condition would paint an unrealistic picture of our relationship.  There are times when my bags frustrate me, when I treat them unfairly, or even (gasp!) when not everything about a situation is colour-coordinated and like a Boden catalogue.

I won’t nominate any other women to choose their five best bags.  Partly because it would be upsetting to those female friends who also care deeply about their bag collections but are not nominated (and therefore feel that they are considered to be inferior accessorisers), or to male friends who are heavily involved in the care of the bags in their lives but excluded from this conversation due to their gender.  But also because many of my friends, either through choice or circumstance, do not collect bags.  It would be unfair of me to imply that bag collection is the most important activity that anybody can undertake, when so many non-collectors have such an enormous impact both on my life and the lives of others.

Yours, tongue not entirely in cheek,

Alison

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