Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Inside my handbag.

Susan and Debra have recently discussed their wallets which I find interesting. Debra goes for the minimalist approach; while Susan prefers something more substantial. Since I am a British female I do not have a wallet but a 'purse':

which of course reflects my life, and how I spend my days, with its assortment of cards from three libraries, one bookshop, the Society of Authors, the National Trust and English Heritage... as well as the usual ones from shops and banks.

My purse is invariably contained within my 'handbag' (although it doesn't fit inside my hand, but hangs from its strap from my shoulder), together with my ipod, my phone, my filofax, several (breeding) pens and pencils, a comb and a fob of keys.

Here is my life. My ipod makes my many long journeys bearable and lulls me to sleep in strange hotel rooms, my phone is an emergency-only device, infrequently used, my filofax and pens are for notes, and the keys mean that I live in a place that has to be locked and I have access to a car. In a few years all this might change. The purse, filofax, ipod and phone will go and there will be a superkindle sort of device which does everything...

...or maybe I will carry just a chip inside my head, and just by thinking I shall be able to summon up purchases, words, addresses, music and knowledge. My front door will open as I see it - as a sensor latches on and recognises my retina. I will walk just for exercise and travel will be an unnecessary luxury. Because by then we will be living communally, utterly inside each others' heads. There will an incessant noise of chatter and music - and people will pay for quiet and the chance to be alone and think.

Sometimes when I look at people talking on their mobiles as they walk along the street it seems to me that we are halfway there already. Some of us have stopped living in the place where we happen to be, but are constantly yearning to be somewhere else, next to some other person that is never the one beside us.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

my "purse" is very like yours, Clare, except I do not have very many cards in it because I have in the past lost my purse a few times and it is such a palaver to replace them all.

I too carry it around in a shoulder bag which also contains: work notes, A5 diary, one (sometimes two) books, and an assortment of pens, phone, train ticket, old transport maps/train timetables, keys (including "keyfob counter" for webmail access to work email) packet of tissues and some paracetamol (probably both vintage 1995), the newspaper and an old sheet of su dokus "just in case". An umbrella sometimes lurks at the bottom.

So pretty similar, in many ways, but no musical device (or hair device)!

Wed May 07, 08:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah your shoulder bag sounds a much more useful size than mine, Maxine! I often wish mine was larger, but I bought this one for the British Library - any larger than this and it wouldn't be allowed in. I really need to get another for non-library days (which after all are most of them!).

Wed May 07, 08:59:00 pm  
Blogger Jud said...

I like the way you described the nature of society and the direction we may be headed.

While we are terribly connected with one another, do we really have anything more to say?

Thu May 08, 04:04:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely leathers, Clare. I never seem to be able to find as nice a quality. I look, and the Lord knows I spend, but our products are inferior.

Thu May 08, 05:10:00 am  
Blogger jem said...

I like your speculation about what future technologies will bring us. I can't help thinking that for all the gain the losses will always outweigh.

I feel that already with email, texting and social networking sites - real communication, letter writing, telephone conversation, face to face is slipping away in favour of bullet point relationships left on communal message boards.

But I will never give up pens and paper and books and cd's - even if some of those share space with more modern technologies.

Thu May 08, 11:17:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure Jud, I think it varies. In the majority of cases I would say no, probably!

Thanks Susan. It did take me a bit of time to find these - especially the purse. It has to have a clasp - I can't cope with zips.

Same here, Jem. I wonder if people like us will be viewed as dinosaurs - I think sometimes I am already.

Thu May 08, 06:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey ladies! Be careful about broadcasting what you keep in your handbags!

Thu May 08, 07:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anon - of course I haven't mentioned my 'additional extras' viz one hand grenade, a small machete, and a newly developed cloaking device - which not only renders me invisible, but at the press of a button allows me to fly, quite literally, into the thirty-first century. Would-be assailants take note.

Thu May 08, 08:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone wants to steal my bottle of Purel, I feel the world will be a more sanitary place. "Cleaning up the world, one criminal at a time" is my motto.

Thu May 08, 11:04:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh, Susan - I can imagine the thieves convention in some watering hole downtown. A freshly scrubbed criminal joins another, dirtier one, at the bar. 'Was her name Susan?' the dirty one would ask. The other one would nod. 'It takes a week to get back to normal, my friend. The best thing you can do is go and do a headstand in some dung.'

Thu May 08, 11:16:00 pm  
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Sat Sept 19, 10:14:00 am  

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