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'What do you carry'- Competition winners...

12/13/2012 10:43:00 am

Thank you to all of you who entered our competition. We loved getting the entries through, but there were two stand out story tellers amongst you.
Drum roll please....
The winners are Minnie Eve who wins the Grover Tote and Alex Davies, who wins the Kampuchea Coin Purse.
Minnie Eve 
My mum has a walk-in larder,
a compulsive eater’s heaven and hell.
Among many, many, many other things
it contains 22 jars of pesto.
She says she’s preparing for an epidemic.
The larder, a steadfast panacea in more than one world.
In what can only be, inherited neuroticism,
(I like to think of it as the height of organisation)
I entertain a Mary Poppins-esque handbag.
The steely stalwart in my life,
that renders me ready for any situation, on pandemic scale.
I don’t like to be anywhere without water
lest I might expire in the UK’s desert climate,
or randomly choke on air.
Mints – everyone needs mints,
they are better than prescription drugs,
when it comes to calming an anxious mind.
My favourite part is the bag within a bag (of which there is more than one).
The make-up bag, mine has ducks on, and the zip broke long ago.
It contains all the things that might make me look better
(when dealing with desert / arctic conditions or the aftermath of choking).
Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream, the solution to many a quandary,
hand gel -  because who knows who had your shopping trolley before you?!
Borrower-sized hair product – important for that dragged backwards through hedge look.
Spare hairbands, plasters, and Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclait pen.
The second bag within a bag, is just an empty bag, for green shopping moments.
Get an umbrella in there too – go on!

Of course there are instances where a bag,
nearly as heavy as its owner, is just not practical.
When ‘stepping out’ and by this I mean
all-night, crazy, having it out with yourself, disco-dancing.
I can survive on a hand-held purse, on
lip balm, plastic money and a door key.
Liberating occasions, where the aforementioned contents
and more, are left with gay abandon,
On the kitchen table.
I go about, willy-nilly, without a care in the world.
It’s like that feeling when you go on holiday and think
“Well, all I really need is my passport.”
Everything else, you can buy, (as long as you have your wallet!)
so why bother…Well I’ll tell you.
Sometimes, it’s not just about what’s inside,
sometimes, it’s just about the bag.

Whose bag is it anyway? by Alex Davies

In any marriage there are certain Givens. It's a Given that, no matter what time we arrange to go out, my husband will wish to leave ten minutes earlier. It's a Given that, when we go on holiday it will fall to me to pack and, no matter what I put in the suitcase I will leave out the one thing he really wanted to wear. And it's a Given that, if I carry a bag, my husband does not need to. For my bag - a cavernous, practical and hard-wearing tote - is sufficient for all his needs. "What's mine is yours," he says cheerfully, dumping book, phone and camera in its rich depths, "and what's mine fits so well in your bag!" 

The size of the bag doesn't appear to matter. A wedding-sized clutch is appropriate for his phone and Golden Virginia (the tiny brown tendrils remaining stuck in the seams for weeks afterwards like obstinate pubic hairs around a plughole); a coin purse is sufficient for a packet of Rennies and his keys. He marvels at the practicality of the numerous pockets in my various bags, noting that the designer must have had his particular make of phone in mind when they added a side pocket, and understood his precise need for a handy repository for the bottle of wine we're taking to a friend's for dinner when he needs his hands freed up to roll a fag (all accessories for which are stored in the top zipped pocket). 

My husband likes to affectionately tease me for the size and quantity of the bags I own, but has yet to fully realise the reason behind both - that if he himself carried a bag I would need only a pocket. I travel light, doubling up a phone as a diary, watch and mirror; stuffing debit and oyster card in the back pocket of my jeans.
So, whilst it's a Given that my bag will, at any time, be stretched to near breaking point under the weight of wallet, keys, medicines, fags, additional clothing, reading material, Satnav and camera, it’s also a fact that the only possession of mine competing for space will be a solitary lipstick or occasional tampon. And whilst we're sat waiting, ahead of schedule at the airport, and I'm pondering which favourite shirt I didn't pack in the last few seconds before I was hurried out of the door, I also know that it’s a Given that, if I see a nice roomy handbag in the duty free shop, my husband will retrieve his wallet from a handy tobacco-infested pocket, and with a wry but indulgent smile, buy me another receptacle within which he can store his belongings. After all, a girl can never have enough handbags - even if she has nothing to put in them.

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