Thursday, 16 October 2008

The ghost of the red bag


I have a very vivid memory of as a young child wandering around Harrods with my parents. I remember I had a red bag and a pair of black and white checked mittens. Inside the bag was half a tube of smarties. I remember that I felt quietly smug that I had not eaten the whole tube, like I would normally, but saved some for later. As we left Harrods my mother noticed the bag was missing along with the gloves. She was as usual livid, I was always loosing things (still do) My mother was always of the opinion that I did it on purpose, that my sole aim in life was to deliberately irritate her. My reward was a full set of perfect crescent shaped indentations down my arm. (from her freshly filed nails) It was more subtle than a smacked bottom but just as lethal. My mothers wrath could be measured by the depth of these marks, when she was really angry she could draw blood at which point my eyes would smart and the day would be ruined. I remember thinking that had I deliberately set out to loose this bag I would never ever have left half a tube of smarties in it, this cut very little ice with my mother.
I guess the memory has subliminally stopped my desire for a red bag, because I have never owned one since. However if reading the blogs of others has taught me one thing it is to break the mould and think out of the box. So after a number of abortive attempts to purchase that rarest of beasts an over the shoulder bag, I have finally purchased the one above.
How I finally hit the success button was not without a little pain. On Friday after traipsing yet again around TKMaxx in the vain hope of finding my Holy Grail I resigned myself to having to start my search afresh, but this time in the men's department. The problem with this strategy is that unlike my early twenties when I could bounce around in my boyfriend jeans, shirts, waistcoats even my fathers coats and jumpers, with the nonchalance only someone young can. now wearing men's clothes makes me look just that, a man.
So pondering my next move, I remembered that many years ago In the early days of my relationship with Daisy and Kitty's father he had bought me the most beautiful Mulberry scotch grain satchel. It had followed a purse which he bought to cheer me up after my one had been stolen. I loved the satchel I have always liked Mulberry and especially their scotch grain stuff. Where is this satchel now? God knows, I cannot remember, it was knackered, but far worse sell on eBay for far too much money.
Inspired I logged on to eBay. My search was rewarded by a beautiful mulberry bag, (nearly all older mulberry bags seem to have these long straps) I set a mental limit of £100 which was a lot less than it was worth, but I do not have much money left this month. With 4 hours to go it was already £94 so I walked away. But guess what? it sold for only £107, I was gutted, I should have not given up. Luckily for me the demand for Mandarina Duck is not so hot, it is a minor label over here, far more popular in Brussels and Paris where you can choose from a much wider range. I bagged this one for £50, smiles all round, and I have finally laid to rest the ghost of the red bag.

5 comments:

miss milki said...

aaw! What a sad story - but at least it has a happy ending. Thats a lovely bag! And I remember how precious smarties were as a child - its true you never would have lost the bag on purpose if it had smarties in it. Was it a tube with letter on the end - they were the best!

materfamilias said...

I remember the same childhood frustration at being blamed for forgetfulness, as if it were deliberate. It always seemed such an unfair accusation and impossible to counter.
Great bag -- I didn't manage to choose a Mandarin Duck bag last spring, but kept stopping to admire them throughout Paris. I thought they all looked cheery, clean-lined, smart, and very practical -- you'll surely enjoy yours AND find it useful. And you've moved yourself past a painful memory at the same time -- cheap at twice the price!

La Belette Rouge said...

I am reading Augustine Bourroughs, "Wolf at my Table." It is great writing but so much of it is about child abuse. But, there is something terribly touching about the way Augustine tells the story. It is so clear, in the book, that all the little boy wants is his father's love and the father rewards the child for his desire with abuse. Your story has the same kind of emotional impact and imagery as Burroughs.

Your story and red bag are both so lovely. But, the story is so very sad. I just want to say to your mother, "Indigo didn't want to lose her beautiful red bad. It is a loss for her too. Please do not dig your claws into her." My mother still talks about the camera I lost on my trip to NYC when I was 18 as if it were her loss and that I didn't suffer from it.

Sorry, I feel like I am rambling. But,I am so happy you have found a lovely new red bag and that you are creating a happy ending of a sad story.

indigo16 said...

miss milki
Oh, yes I had forgotton the letters on the underside of the cap, and the way we put them in our bicycle spokes!
materfamilias
I am glad you saw some I do not know why they are not more poular here, although they are not cheap, they are really well made.
la belette rouge
my mother although not contrite about the way she used to behave is certainly more aware that she overreacted too often. Neeless to say she blames my father! now there is a story that needs telling.
And yes, as a child I think I did crave that mother love and spent my whole life chasing it via men instead. and yes there is a book in that tale too, so many books I must learn to write!
I hope the bag is as good in real life as it sounds in the description.

cybill said...

Indigo, please buy yourself some smarties to go with your red bag!