Hello all

Well, I am still persevering with my writing. It has given me an enormous amount of satisfaction even if sometimes it IS a pain in the neck when I am busy! It is worth it.

I just wanted to tell you that I am actually expanding on my 366-day Challenge with some further challenges of my own. I now have a Facebook ‘Life with Tess’ so I can put things there that are not on my personal FB (so LIKE it please?) and I have come up with the idea of the Snapshots….Life with Tess to read when you are busy. I will put the link on FB 24 hours after the full version.

Also, as time goes on, I am hoping to increase my readership and by the end of the year, to have someone in every country (well ALMOST every country) reading my blog. I will think of other challenges as I go along. If you want to share your thoughts with me, please do. I would appreciate it.

Why am I doing this you might ask? Because I want the challenge. Those who know me never thought I was going to retire quietly and never be seen again surely??! Now, where was I? Today’s topic. Yes.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I am reading Last Chance Cafe by Liz Byrski. One character in the book (Emma) is a shopaholic (yes she has a problem!) and this is how Liz wrote about Emma shopping for a handbag. It is really worth reading

                  ” Emma is engaged in the search for the perfect handbag. It’s something she does frequently and she has a cupboard full of bags to prove it. It is, she thinks, a strange fact of life that you never have the right bag; it is either too large or too small, or it would be perfect if it had one handle instead of two….. or a shoulder strap you could slip on, or a cross strap that didn’t look weird where it crossed between your boobs, or would be perfect with more bling or less, or without the leather tassels that make it look like a Dolly Parton cast-off.”

It’s not just her, she knows that, there are thousands of women who understand the lure of the bag; it’s seduction with the promise that it will change your life. It’s the smell of the leather, the strength and softness of the feel, the subtlety or the richness of the colour and, like magic, credit cards self-eject from wallets into the hands of sales assistants.

There is more but I have given you the shorter version. but I must give you the bit where she says that after loving the bag….”so soon the love affair is over” for a variety of reasons. Yes, we all know about that don’t we? But we keep on buying them! Men simply cannot understand ‘the lure of the bag’ as Liz called it. It is not in their DNA to understand this ladies, so give it up!

Now this led me to think about the Queen and her handbag (remember I was out shopping for groceries). What is that about? I thought. She always carries it so close to her body as if a robber might snatch it or she might lose it. But then again I thought:

                                              What DOES she have  in that handbag?

It’s not as if she needs money in it. No. But I have thought of a few things she might have in her handbag:

  • A lace handkerchief with a fancy embroided ‘E’ on it (she would never use tissues)
  • A spare pair of glasses (heaven forbid if she broke the others) 
  • Rescue remedy (the homeopathic stuff you spray under your tongue when you get stressed, try it, it’s good)
  • A crocheted shopping bag in case she needs something to put the gifts in that she receives
  • throat lozenges (there is so much talking that her throat might get dry)
  • something to help her keep smiling (not sure what that would be, but I would need it for sure if that was me).
  • a small prodder for the Duke (to keep him in line when he offends people with his tongue)

Can you think of anything else she might carry in that bag? It just conjures up all sorts of things to me. And yes, I did get those few groceries and managed to make it home without hitting anything or damaging the car!

Why then does the Queen carry a handbag? Is it perhaps like a security blanket? No matter where she is she will always feel secure. I must admit to the feeling of security having a handbag gives me. What about you? What is it you could not do without in YOUR handbag?

The one indispensable item in my handbag is a plastic knife (given me during a flight) that is strong and sturdy with serrated edges. I often use it at cafes when trying to share cakes or some such. Yes, indispensable for me. (I think I got this from my mother who always produced a small knife from her handbag when we were out).

Now I just have to show you my new ‘Relic’ handbag. And no, I did not buy it (like Emma) in a shopaholic frenzy, it was a gift from my son and daughter-in-law for my birthday.  I love it as it has so many compartments and it looks great. Belinda chose it. Security bag for sure.

This handbag security thing reminds me of Violet waking up in the night (twice) while she was staying with us on Sunday night and screaming “I’ve lost Wosie (Rosie) I’ve lost Wosie!” Wosie was right next to her but she couldn’t see her in the dark. In her state of insecurity ‘Wosie’ is her constant companion at present.

In fact, I heard a discussion on the radio this morning about ‘MOVING’ and as my loved ones have just moved into their house on Monday, I was interested. There was a counsellor giving tips for helping children adapt.  The one thing this lady tells parents is this:

                            Pack the teddies on the top part  of the box!

I thought that was great advice and the reason why Wosie is so necessary.

Well, it must be time for me to end. I cannot believe how much one can write on this topic! My grandchildren have arrived for yet another family dinner. Son-in-law Steve flies out to East Timor tomorrow. That’s it. Final. It is Thai takeaway tonight. I am all ‘cooked’ out (but I couldn’t resist cooking rhubarb to have with ice-cream).

Farewell Steve. You’re a champ. An army veteran for almost 25 years. Two tours of Afghanistan and now project managing the reconstruction of East Timor. We will miss you but at least you will be home every few months for a visit and also holidays. Stay safe.

 Our thoughts and prayers go with you.

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