Let me introduce you to two old bags.

Let me introduce you to two old bags.

Thank you so much for popping in!
Friday’s blog a private peek, right?
Well, this may be a little obscure, but I want to talk about something old and precious of mine:
my carpet bag.
It’s getting old now, a bit threadbare at the neck…
but it’s still so beautiful to touch, so soft and rich,
can you believe it’s 20 years old?
I remember that, because 20 years ago I came home to England from America with the kids.
Marriage over. Life in California over.
Back in Britain, and brassic.
I was pedalling my stamps everywhere I could, and I remember stalling out at the Kent County Fair one summer.
Not the best venue for stamps, but hey! Needs must.
Anyway, the bloke next to me was selling carpet bags.
I kept going and touching them. 
People weren’t interested in my stamps at the County Fair anyway!
I loved the bright colours and the sumptuous feel.
This one was definitely the finest and most gorgeous one.
But it cost £95, and that was way too much money to be spending on a carpet bag! Or on anything not entirely essential at that point in time.
I remember doing battle in my head for 4 days about the price of the bag. Could I? No. Should I? No. Did I?
Answers on a postcard please!
I remember scratching together the money and even handing it over. I don’t know why it was such a big deal for me, but it was.
The power of hindsight is a great thing:
it was the best £95 I have ever spent!
This old bag has been all over the world with me. 
About 7 years ago, I was over here in New Mexico, and the leather strap broke. Oh no!
So I took it to a cowboy shop and they sold me horses reins.
Ha! 7 years later, we’re still going strong.
When I first started on the telly a few years ago, 
I had a similar moment with a Mulberry bag; 
the stakes were just a lot higher!
Spent weeks weighing up the price versus the bag.
Yes, no. Yes, no. 
Then we were walking through Covent Garden,
and there it was in the Shop window.
The Bayswater. 
Way too much for a bag, but not if you use it almost every day!
So that’s my bag confession:
The Carpet and the Bayswater.
Two of my most prized possessions;
they go everywhere with me.
Both looking well loved.
That’s because they are.
Do you get me? 
I mean, can you relate to my affection for 2 old bags?
One reminds me of hard times and keeps me grounded.
The other reminds me of hard times and keeps me grounded.
lots of love,

69 thoughts on “Let me introduce you to two old bags.

  1. Hello Barb, yeah I get you! Love the bags. There is always something that makes you think, I really shouldn't, but hey that is what life is about. Take care. Bx

  2. Morning Barb,

    Beautiful bags, especially the carpet one, expensive but worth it as it has lasted so long. I am not your average woman as i am not into bags, shoes or hats really but I can understand why some women are lol! Its a beautiful pattern I wouldn't mind it as my carpet lol!

    Have a great day

    Love & Hugs

    Jacquie J xxx

  3. Understand totally I wonder how many cheep bags you would have gone through by know have good day well been in are new home week so many boxes but wining but need to declutter more love joy xxx

  4. Hello Barbara

    Quality costs initially but works out cheap in the end (a bit like Clarity stamps). How many cheap bags would you have got through over tbe last 20 years?.


  5. Totally get it. Because the purchase was quite a sacrifice to you at the time they have become so important to you and not something that you could discard easily. The bags are both beautiful and I am jealous of the wonderful journeys that they've been on with you. Xx

  6. Hi Barb, I get you entirely!! It's not the monetary value they become a symbol of significant times. I have been married twice, the first full of misery, except for my two beautiful children. The second, the complete opposite!! I am so happy now. But the other week I stripped the bed and bundled it all into the washing machine, as you do. Then I stripped the wallpaper in our bedroom and later bundled that all up into black sacks. Feeling very satisfied I went into my craft room and began making some cards. As I looked down I noticed, to my horror that the beautiful solitaire diamond was missing from my engagement ring!!! How I cried and cried! Everyone has said well you can claim on the house insurance and yes, I can. But this ring was my symbol of new beginnings in my life. A symbol of crossing from complete happiness to complete happiness and how can that ever be replaced? xx

    1. It's not the ring because that is just material, it what you have inside your heart Your spirit , all,possessions can be lost , but not what's really important and that can never be lost or destroyed its your love and kindness and forgiveness — you may lose a precious stone but the most important thing your spirit is always with you . joy is not in things ,it is in us ! Joy now Jan
      Octant and that is what

  7. Bet those bags could tell a few stories lol! Totally understand! ! I umed and arrred over the purchase of my car, it was for my job travelling all over UK, but it was a lot of money. So I decided in for a penny, and bought the car. A year later due to my Ex, I lost everything and I ended up living in my car for 2 years, although I hid that from everybody! I still have that car it's 10 years old and it still is the best thing ever! So sometimes a woman has to do, what a woman has to do!

  8. I say you have got your money's worth , I always buy a new bag in the winter and another one for summer every year,,.
    Yes I get you too,,,.x

  9. I've got a 38 yr old dressing gown which I cannot part with! My dad bought it for me to go to college and although my dad is no longer with us, the dressing gown is still going strong. They made things to last 'in the olden days'!

  10. Hi Barbara. Yes, I "get you" too. I think that when you handed over that £95 you were proving that you still had respect for yourself, that you were worth spending all that money on, even if you didn't realise it at a point in your life when you were having a very hard time. And 7 years ago you still had to think about putting your hand in your pocket when I guess money wasn't quite so tight shows just how grounded you are. Would you have loved these bags like you do if you had the money to spare without having to think about it? No. that's why they mean so much to you : ) Take care xx

  11. What an absolutely lovely tale about 'handbags and gladrags' (what a fabulous song THAT is too). I constantly waiver between should I or shouldn't I about a Mulberry Anthony bag. My friend has one and I adore it BUT SOOOO much money for a bag. Then my late Mum's words about 'no pockets in shrouds' comes into my head ………. maybe your great blog will finally help me make up my mind. xx

  12. I really get you about the bags I noticed your carpet bag on your photo at the canyon I thought it was brill I have a bag I bought on a cruise years ago I felt so guilty when I bought it but it's a great bag I love it but still feel guilty. Stay safe barb dave &steve love June horrocks xxxx

  13. Hi Barbara, Yes, I 'get you' the bags are both really lovely, although when I think back to 20 years ago, £95 was a whole lot of money back then (still is now, to me), and I can understand you doing the 'shall I, shan't I' , but you have definitely had your 'money's worth' enjoy !!
    Lots of love from Patricia xx

  14. Barbara how you make me smile ,money well spent they always say you get what you pay for and it lasts a long time like clarity really quality ,happy Friday we go home tomorrow into our lovely bungalow lovingly put back together after the water leaks by quality workmen a good insurance company and my wonderful caring partner / my full time carer your blog today is so important what you blogged as it shows you have your memories in you two little bags hugs to all xxx

    1. Good luck for your move home tomorrow. I'll be thinking about you sitting in your new house tomorrow evening with a huge contented smile on your face 🙂 xx

    2. Hi Sheila. I am so pleased for you, it's been a long time but now it is all over. Bet you won't come out of your craft room for ages : ) Take care x

  15. Yep, I totally get that! In a previous life I could buy pretty much anything I wanted within reason. Now every purchase is considered carefully, weighed up and thought about so everything I buy is appreciated and love much more. Couldn't be happier!

  16. I totally get you! Both are lovely bags, but so, so much more to you. I once ummed and ahhed about buying a piece of jewellery that I loved at an airport as it was so expensive! Nearly missed the plane, but did buy it and still have it!!! I call it my L'Oreal moment – because I'm worth it, and so are you!! Susan x

  17. On a practical note money spent on bags is always well spent. My oldest leather bag friend was bought in Italy in 1964, for I think about £7, when I was a slip of a girl aged 12. It is now 51years old and still goes on special summer outings. That works out to about 13p a year of use.

    But you do need to look after leather. I have an annual 'give a bag a drink day'. I get out all my leather bags and URAD them. They go 'slurp' come up like new and smile at me. My daily use bag gets the URAD treatment more frequently as the winter and wet take their toll.

    Prevent cruelty to bags, they are good friends after all, and give them the URAD treatment.

    It is a wonderful product for ALL leather from the dining chairs to wash bags.

    Barbara – I've nominated you for the 'Women's Hour Power List' 'Women of Influence' for 2015. Hope you get on the list as you influence many of us for the good and your products are second to none.

    Happy Days


  18. a wonderful tale barbara – never had an affection for bags but I understand where you're coming from!!! My sister is a bag lady – lol!!!!

  19. These are the Rolls Royce of the bag world, and prove that by spending a a lot of money they were good quality and have lasted. My mum always used to say 'buy cheap buy twice'. Mind you I don't think expensive necessarily goes hand in hand with quality these days, as in the main things are not made to last. Anyway that apart they are both beautiful bags Barbara and I know what you mean about the feel of something attracting you. x

  20. This is a lovely story . It's that ole instinct thing . Go with it and you did ! Didn't know your your story about going back to England until now since I'm rather new here . It so encouraging to hear how others didn't give in , they survived . I often look to role models in my life when I'm feeling down and draw strength and courage . So let us put our smiles on each day . We have a choice .,let's chose Happiness !,joy now Jan

  21. I know exactly what you mean Barbara – I once bought a tiny TV in a shop in Brighton the day after I'd lost my job (only went in 'cos it was raining) – and I never regretted it -how I loved that tiny TV and used it for years ! Margaret xx

  22. I think we all have our treasured items. I have several things dotted around the house that the kids bought me when they were little. They are worthless really but worth a million pounds to me as they hold so many memories. I hope your beautiful bags carry on giving you good service for many more years. xx

  23. I think my crafty purchases are on that level, I could survive without them but I just need to have them! I have some treasured things that bring back memories of times past. They are links to memories. I always collect a small stone or piece of sea glass from every beach I walk on, I also have books from my childhood that are very special because I remember reading them or having them read to me. Glad to see you are having a great time on holiday. Xx

  24. Hi Barbara, you're funny, but I get the point too :-). You were worth what it took to scrape together the money to purchase them, they've lasted you well and they hold some dear memories,and reminders for you. Something someone was helping me with for a good number of years – to see I'm worth it and should spend some money on myself because I'm worth it. Afraid these days I feel I'm not even worth the air I breathe, and never spend money on me now on anything apart from the bare essentials. Even craft purchases are now only if they are needed /fill a gap! Just shows me where I was several years ago, after a huge amount of hard work, and how far I've fallen in such a short time, worse than where I started, and that's despite me giving it my all! Ah well, I did kind of know it anyway. Guess it's all I was born to deserve.
    Anyway hope you're still having a great time on holiday, you certainly deserve it
    Love Brenda xx

    1. Brenda, stop that! You are totally worth it, I think you are worth a great deal. I believe you deserve great things, you always speak from the heart, which is warm and caring to everyone. Don't give up, things will improve I'm sure of it! Sending hugs xxx

    2. Brenda I only know you through this blog and want to say that you are totally worth it. Please don't give up on yourself. You deserve so much and certainly are worthy of treating yourself. Like Donna I'm sure things will improve. A big hug to you xx

    3. Hi Brenda you just having a wee doon day the day so just you kick that oot tbe winday and bounce back to us again your certainly worth it to me and all the people here sending you a big cuddle ……Dot..xx

    4. Hope today Is a a better day not as dark as yesterday ,the bad days are not good but blog along as you help us through our bad days with your lovely blogging hugs xxx

    5. Quite unwell for a few days, just my cfs, because of the stress of everything. been in bed very early, struggling to get up very late, forcing myself to get my chore done and that’s been all I could do. Forced myself up this morning, just after 10.30, saw the lovely day through the gap in the curtains, had every intention of doing some craft, so far only accomplished my chore. Yesterday I to force myself out of bed and through a two hour garden visit, the full effects of that won’t hit me until at least tomorrow! I’ve always said I had to make a hard choice at a very young age, it was sink or swim, and I chose to swim and have been fighting to keep my head above water non stop ever since. Just now it feels more and more my head is slipping below the water and I’m struggling to find the fight /energy required to fight to get my head back up again. It’s the whole situation, this place that’s supposed to me my home is a total mess, has been since I moved here 4 1/2 years ago, was told last year it was definitely all going to be sorted then, only small parts have which has actually left it in a bigger mess since, still waiting! I know I am very fortunate to have a home, and a home where I can feel relatively safe, a home I can’t be chucked out of or lose unless it’s an act of God. And I am very grateful for that, I’m very well aware my situation could be even worse. You kind of know I’ve barely got any support service despite being in need of so much. Nothing is getting done /being sorted /me being helped with. No one is doing anything to turn the tide, I’m only being damaged and hurt more and neglected more and more. I’ve had no help with any of the things the workers have done to me and put me through, nor even what the high up person did to me that only started to come to light one and a half years ago, not even an apology. I’m being messed around by them so much, I’m very lucky now if I get 2 weeks where my weekly phone call and garden visit are as they should be, changed at such short notice and this week even changed again! I’m supposed to have a minimum of 3 weeks notice of everything! It’s got to the point where literally I don’t know what or even if I should believe anything that is said or written to me! And I have the autistic change problems at the really bad end of the scale. To put it in context, if a product I always use changes the picture on it, even if the ingredients remain the same, it still totally freaks me out, I’ve always been like this. And my Asperger’s specialised support service knows this! And as you know I’m not allowed anything good /positive at all to look /work towards, so nothing left to fight for really, I know longer know what it is I am supposed to fighting for /towards.

    6. I’ve been very patient, very kind and generous to them over the last year and a half, hiding most of the bad feelings and problems they’re causing, giving more than my all, bending over backwards for every single one of them no matter what they’ve done, or how uninterested they are. I will make a fuss when something totally not on has happened, have to really, but the rest I occasionally say something when it gets too much for me. But in doing so I risk being spoken to not nicely for voicing the truth, and even bigger I know fine well if I rock the boat or do something officially to complain, I hugely risk being told they are refusing to provide me with a service, and it would be extremely difficult if not impossible for me then to find another service prepared to support me. It’s fact, it does happen, and I’m not strong enough, and don’t have the your world brain, nor the back up from anyone at all to fight that battle. So basically it’s been trying to do what I can within the system to try to make them see and do something to change it and provide me with the service their literature says they will for everyone. That’s what I’ve been battling the last year and a half, and it’s all only being going one way, and that’s not the good or positive way, while my health in all ways deteriorates further as a result. Like I’ve said before, despite it being immensely hard for me to do, I did at one point even contact emergency social services for help and was basically told to sort it out for myself, they didn’t want to know, not their problem, literally told these words. And on top, this is always a bad time of year for me too, that I struggle with at even the best of times. I do try and have been trying my best to hide the negative stuff and be the real deep inside me – who wants to be around someone as miserable and negative as me, no one hence me being this isolated and alone in life! I’m sorry Barbara and all you guys that I wasn’t able to hide it away yesterday. Maybe I need to just not comment at all any days I’m not managing to hide stuff, don’t want to be making Barbara and all you guys bad at me, fed up with me and not wanting to know me anymore, this here is all I have apart from Daisy. This here is my anchor, my dependable rock, I know it’s going to be here every day, that Barbara will post every day she can, and I’ve kind of learned to recognise all you regular commenters names, and most of you comment each day. It’s literally the only thing in my life that I can depend on. These days I don’t even know how my body or in my head is going to feel in a few hours time, and I’ve no future anything, no plan or anything else to work on, work towards, nothing. Thank you Barbara and everyone here, and thank you all for the very generous kind words you’ve said in your replies to me xx p.s. I’ve got one of my nice funny wee stories from this week to tell you, I’ll write it in a bit – need to give my sore elbow a wee break

  25. I totally get it Barbara, I love my bags too and find that spending the extra money usually works out for the best 'cos if you love the bag you will use it.
    Jackie x

  26. I love your two old bags, an extravagance at the turning point in your life, but I'm sure they will remain two faithful friends for many years to come. I totally understand

  27. Barbara, this is a poignant reflection of the life we have lived and still continue to live.
    Like you, I have items that mean a great deal, and you really got me thinking of bags – yep, I can go there, jewellery – can do that too along with the cowboy boots and so can many other items in my possession but one non-descript thing that has and continues to play a part in my life is my RICE COOKER!
    Do not laugh!!
    I bought it from a NAAFI in the far east in January 1979 for my first ever 'dinner party.'
    This was my first posting, first time away from home, first time looking after myself, my first purchase of a 'homey' thing. I'd only arrived at the start of the Spring term two weeks earlier and it was my birthday – a good reason for a celebration – when suddenly I found myself catering for twelve. Being on a tight budget, only having the money I arrived with as I was not due to be paid until the end of the month or so I thought but that is another story – and I'd had to put a deposit down on a car, this item was a considered purchase.
    However, the avocado coloured cooker continued to wink at me from the shelf and yes, it would make the alien and unknown cooking of rice a breeze. Having also bought a screwdriver and a plug (appliances came devoid of plugs in those days) not in that order- I was forever grateful that I'd at least paid attention to this area whilst studying six years of Physics!! and the rice cooker was commissioned!
    From there on in, it was used at every party, in every country where we could use a three pin plug and even in some areas that could not.
    My point is – it is still with me; it still works; it could be replaced and indeed has been replaced overseas where the electricity supply is different but they were not as good, perhaps I'm biased; the colour may be suspect but guess what – it still the cooks the best, fluffy rice!
    It is also a great reminder of people, places and different times, the table at the scruff lunch in my first apartment, the dinner simultaneously celebrating my friend's wedding breakfast eight thousand miles away, the party where I catered for fifty four people, the quiet meals for four in Germany, the Boxing Day party in Bath where I set it on my dining-room table resulting in the table requiring re-polishing, the lunches for the rugby enthusiasts in Oman, the Hogmanay celebrations in Aberdeen as well as all the normal week-to-week use.
    An old friend from another time but one has the unique ability to conjure up so many memories! ;~}

  28. I get you Barbara a woman who has bounced back from from heartbreak and struggle to creating a fantastic company and happiness in her life with a couple of great bags to ground her on the way so I'm now off to find that Womans Hour Power List ……xxDot

  29. Love the story and the bags. I am sure we can all relate to this in some way. Mine has probably been more crafty things that I shouldn't really have spent my money on. I also think we all get attached to things and even when they have come to the end of their life we can't bear to throw them away as they hold so many memories.

  30. I have a couple of old bags in my life that Mean a lot to me too. Xxx as of the Leather kind I am very fussy about buying a bag to the point I keep getting my old ones out because there isn't a new one good enough. X

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