Friday, 11 July 2008


My boyfriend always says my bag has too much stuff in it. But he couldn't actually be right, could he?

I was taken aback when even the Guerilla Gardeners went, "Oh my god, what have you got in there? Soil?"

I decided to see what exactly it was that weighed me down all the way round Hampton Court. 

Two cameras
USB cables for cameras
a pair of plimsolls for before 12pm (not allowed open-toed shoes till midday)
waterproof coat
hi-vis vest saying "Aviation Defence International" to throw officials off the scent
sore feet cream
Kew security pass
free Sunflower seeds from Guerilla Gardeners
"Unbearable Lightness of Being", Milan Kundera
"The Philosopher's Dog", Raimond Gaita
two cashmere jumpers
3 pounds of press material
two Oyster cards
spare contact lenses
spare memory card
spare camera battery 
socks for wearing with wellies
30 mg Valium
memory stick
Beauty Flash Balm
£5 note
38mm hand lens
napkins from sandwich shop
pink nail varnish
a tiny weeny little potato from the allotment

The question I put to you, dear readers, is: how much of this can I possibly bear to part with? How will I manage in the jungle of London life without all these handy things? How does everyone else manage without all the handy things? I mean - what if you don't want to read fiction - you have to have a choice of book, right? But then, I really would like to learn to walk tall. 
Well at least I know why I'm standing so badly in the photo of James A-S's to which I objected. 

One positive finding of this research: my dad really did teach me to be a good packer. 


Alex said...

I can't see any slack there. Maybe just one napkin but that's a little risky.

Arabella Sock said...

Shouldn't you have a whistle and a compass? I never go anywhere without them.

emmat said...

I was waiting for a train in Piccadilly Circus the other day where a smartly woman suddenly fell to her knees and started to vomit and I was pretty glad for her sake that I had more than one napkin. That was less than a week ago! I'm hardly going to slim down to one napkin in the immediate aftermath of that incident!

posh spice said...

are you not allowed open-toed shoes till midday by social niceties? I've never heard of that one. I've heard of "no white after Labor Day' but no flip-flops before lunch is a new one on me.

VP said...

Emma you're a girl after my own heart - I had a similar problem last year:

Have you dared look in your purse yet?

I think the eensy teensy weeny potato is the most essential item there - gives you instant street cred with all the gardening fraternity

emmat said...

No way! This is the day for finding other people completely beat me to it.

I haven't got a purse. I never have had one. I find the whole idea a bit alien. I really hate cash so I just always have my card in my pocket.

VP said...

Ahhh but a purse just gives you so much scope to hoard even more stuff! Beside the mundane things as a bit of cash (including a farthing) and 60 train tickets (including ones from Stockholm 10 years ago), I had a Spanish phone card advertising condoms to protect against AIDS, plus my 'working with sewage' card issued by the Water Research Centre when I used to splash around in streams looking at salmon and trout. Imagine what an archaeologist would make of that if they found it in 500 years time!

Aspidistra said...

I suppose minus the napkin you must truly have felt the Unbearable Lightness of Being, being minus a napkin.

I find those paper napkins cross-breed quite successfully at the bottom of my bag with old kit-kat wrappers, glueing together over time to make a nutritious emergency snack.

emmat said...

that snack gag has made the chair go wobbly i laughed so much.

i also thank vp for her kind testament to my tiny potato. If I can say that.

Zoë said...

Gordon Bennet, you will give yourself a hernia carrying that lot around!

My small across the body bag contained: compact Nikon camera, notebook, pens, hideous pakamac, tissues,and money.

I have to say I went home a bit more heavily loaded, and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't fit Lady Emma Hamilton, or the half dozen species perlagoniums in and ended up buying one of those plant crates on wheels.

emmat said...

Tee hee! Not that I ever laugh at the misery of others.

My solution to the not-buying of plants is to never take any cash. This usually works. Though when my mum and I went to Selbourne, we got there, and we looked at each other, and were like "Hmm. Cashpoint."