Some years ago I remember a friend of mine emptying her rather large handbag to find something hidden in the depths. It was like Mary Poppins's carpet bag pouring onto the table. She had make up, hairbrush, books, a can of WD40, perfume, screws, screwdrivers, a monkey wrench and other personal and handy items. I couldn't believe so much came out of a comparatively small space. She said she carried them 'just in case - you never know when they might come in handy'.
So what do I carry with me? In my bag I have:
- My MacBook Air Laptop
- A4 drawing pad
- Tin of pens and pencils
- Waterproof jacket (mac in a sack)
- A list of things I've already discussed with our CEO (still not thrown that one away)
- Small notebook
- Anti-inflammatory tablets (getting older and stiffer)
- The complete works of Shakespeare (manageable size bought for 50p in a book sale in the local church)
- Calendula cream
- Tin of mackerel fillets (just in case)
It seems the larger the bag, the more I put in it. I used to try and limit myself to mobile phone, wallet, keys and tobacco, which were usually stuffed into pockets about my person. Then I bought a small bag not much bigger than my wallet that I could get everything in to keep it in one place and free up my bulging pockets. Now I have a rucksack so I don't have to carry anything in my hands - something I hate doing when I'm out and about. I don't smoke any more so the tobacco has gone (you would have thought this would free up some space).
Do I need all these things? Probably not. I carry them in case I want to read, make notes for my writings, sketch or draw ideas for calligraphy or just to keep up my drawing skills. The anti-inflammatory tablets I'm taking every day at the moment, the calendula cream helps soothe mozzy bites and eczema (something I only developed recently much to my annoyance). My laptop is handy so I can edit the websites I maintain, write stories and make notes for story ideas and write blog posts (I'm writing this at work).
If I had to carry my bag around with me like a handbag I wouldn't have so much in it, but because it slings over my shoulders and leaves my hands free it is more convenient. I might sound like I'm making excuses here but they are my excuses and I'm comfortable with them. Besides, I like the bag.
And the tin of mackerel fillets? Well you never know what predicament I might find myself in.