10 Strange, but useful things carried in women’s handbags!

Whilst the motto for many (and speaking from experience as your blogger was in fact in the Scouts) is ‘Be Prepared’ we wonder how prepared we really need to be? I’m guessing that you are not in the same league as some of these rather imaginative hand bag heroes who we have discovered.  Let me know if I am wrong….please!

A pack of tissues, sticky plasters (Band-Aids for our friends across the pond) notebook and pen, paracetamol seem to be pretty basic every day kit. Small change for the car park or bus fare maybe. Exploring international bag users blogs we find a mix that varies between demonstrating a sad display of extreme society today to others that are just plain batshit crazy!


1. A cautious Kenyan lady keeps a glass drinks bottle to hand.  Not for the sweltering 50c climate, but for self-defence protection.  She grew up in a rough slum area and once had to protect herself using a glass bottle.  Since then she has always carried one in her bag.

Quite sadly, the market for handbag and briefcase defence is rather huge!  A search of the on Google found a wide market of self defence products that would bring comfort to any self respecting secret agent.

Pepper spray, knives, pens and hairbrushes that covert to self defence weapons recommended in several cases.  More on this in a future blog.

10 Strange, but useful things carried in women's handbags! Vintage Leather Bags

2. Ostrich eggs were found in another bag during a routine security check.  For wildlife and conservation purposes it is illegal to carry them.  When the vigilant security guard explained the process of reporting to the Kenyan Wildlife commission, the lady begged and tearfully explained that they are carried on the instructions of a witch doctor for good luck!  Not for the ostriches it seems.

Most animal products are banned from being carried in to almost any country.  This is to prevent the spread of disease and to preserve the species, where certain animals are put through the most inhumane treatment for the use of their skin or fur.

The spread of disease also is highly prevalent and risky where animal products are carried cross border.

Caviar, ‘medicine’, ivory products and turtle shells have all been seized following attempts to smuggle across the border.

10 Strange, but useful things carried in women's handbags! Vintage Leather Bags

3. On a much sweeter note in insurance sales lady explained why she carried her boyfriend’s boxer shorts in her bag.  As he travels a lot, she feels secure when there is a part of him with her.  At night she wears them when she sleeps.   A much needed goodly sensitive tale.  Some things I just can’t help wondering though!  Would a piece of jewellery not be as affective?  I’m not even going start on the washing aspect!

10 Strange, but useful things carried in women's handbags! Vintage Leather Bags

Cuddling items of clothing are the next best thing when our loved ones are not with us. Men and women both admin to snuggling up with a shirt or some other clothing at night when on their own.


4. As a professional or trades person, it is likely normal to carry various tools and accessories in daily use.   A thoughtful nurse or doctor might carry some first aid products in case of emergency.  A tailor perhaps would feel comfortable with a needle and cotton or an accountant ever concerned about tax and finances may be forgiven for carrying a calculator to securely watch those restaurant bills.

A New Mexico gentleman who is a professional tarot card reader gave a security guard
the shock of his life (almost literally) when certain very graphic tarot cards were found during a bag inspection.

The Grim Reaper tarot card, or equivalent may be a skeleton with a scythe is a pretty menacing looking beast.  Many years ago I had a tarot reading and out popped this terrifying card, which I have to admit scared the living heck out of me!  The real meaning however is that things are changing.  Something in life is going to change and be replaced with something new.  This could be car, job, boyfriend’s boxer shorts or in fact boyfriend!  Usually the card signals change for the better.

On seeing the grim reaper card the quite superstitious security guard, by all accounts had something of a mild panic attack.  Subsequently the bag search turned in to a free tarot card reading for the security guard who is now highly optimistic about a new job and new girlfriend.

10 Strange, but useful things carried in women's handbags! Vintage Leather Bags

5. A Cajun Country enthusiast carries jade, sugilite and aventurine in her bag.  Crystals are widely believed and used for holistic healing and wellbeing.   Carrying this combination is believed to enhance natural health, calming and bring good luck.  There are thousands of different kinds of crystal and minerals, which are believed by many to bring life 10 Strange, but useful things carried in women's handbags! Vintage Leather Bagsenhancements.

When the right crystal connects with the right person they will feel a charge generated from the stone.  Carrying the stone that you connect with brings about a feeling of security, health and confidence.

There are specific stones that for many people bring wellbeing, confidence and peace of mind.  A study of the Chakras and treatment dating back thousands of years tells us that the following stones bring us added power.

To feel grounded and fearless: Tiger’s Eye, Bloodstone, Black Obsidian.

Intuition, sexuality, healing: Moonstone, Citrine, Coral

Self esteem, self confidence, self worth: Golden Calcite, Topaz, Citrine

For balance: Emerald, Rose Quartz, Jade

Confidence to speak the truth: Turquoise, Sodalite, Aquamarine

Intuition and decision making: Amethyst, Azurite, Lapis Lazuli

For more on this fascinating subject click here

6. A young child getting a hand stuck in a pushchair or stroller could phase anyone.  My own experience of tot transportation is that (much like its passenger) it rarely does what you want it to!  Folding and and unfolding these contraptions can be magical feat that David Copperfield himself would struggle with.

So when a child’s hand gets inexplicably stuck in the mechanism, what is a mother to do? The answer very clear to one level headed mother, who reached in to her ‘black hold of a bag’ and used the multi head screwdriver to dismantle the said stroller and quickly release the poor little hand.

Our hero of the moment was quick to justify that she was not a closet dismantler, but had earlier that day taken the screwdriver away from her child, who had designs on becoming Bob the Builder.

10 Strange, but useful things carried in women's handbags! Vintage Leather Bags


7. Favourite tea bags and hot sauce are a favourite for many!

You never quite know when the tea or taco emergency is going to hit you.  As an English man, tea drinking is something of a career.  So for me personally I can fully relate to the need for carrying quality emergency tea bags.

Too many times I have been to an overpriced tea/coffee bar and in the squidge process, albeit orchestrated with surgical care and tenderness we have the much feared tea bag blowout.  There are few things more disgusting than drinking tea where the bag has broken and a mouthful of plant matter disperses.  Or when the bag remains intact, but the flavour is more akin to pee than tea.

Emergency tea bags are the vital bag ingredient for many ladies and gentlemen tea drinkers worldwide.

A similar thing can be said for sauce!  How many times have we been in to a burger, taco or sandwich bar to find that the rather delicious fare we have been served is just missing that one tiny ingredient that turns a pleasant lunchtime snack in to a rambunctious gastronomic journey!  Carry the sauce we say.

10 Strange, but useful things carried in women's handbags! Vintage Leather Bags

8. A boiled egg!  Absolutely no reason given and even imagined!

10 Strange, but useful things carried in women's handbags! Vintage Leather Bags

Yes, one of these!  Although it was in its shell in a bag!

Move on!

9. A Lego model! When your child builds a first creation there is immense pride!

Speaking personally I have stored a huge pile of paintings created by Dan and Alex in their junior years that I could never ever throw away.  The artistic merits are questionable admittedly, but they were made by my boys and they are not going anywhere!

One lady admits to carrying the first lego model that her son created at the age of six.  It stayed in her bag and went everywhere with her.  When her bag got tired and replaced, the Lego model was carefully transferred to the next bag.

This became something of a talking point and a party piece. It became something of a prize piece up there with The Elgin Marbles, Faberge Eggs and The Queen’s Crown Jewels.  Nothing got between her and this little Lego model.

As time went by, the Lego modeller grew older and interest developed from Lego to legs and co and his various friends and girlfriends got to share the secret of the Lego piece hidden in the deep bag.

He is now 33 and it continues!

I’m wondering now what the effect will be if I bring out the said paintings from 10 years ago, when the chosen one is brought back to ‘meet the parent’s’.  I believe it could be the last thing I ever do!

10 Strange, but useful things carried in women's handbags! Vintage Leather Bags

10. The disgusting, the unthinkable, the unusuble and the unidentifiable!

Watch this if you dare! The truth is out there and there is no turning back.


Simple and just plain useful goodies that reside in handbags worldwide commonly include Swiss Army Knife, wet wipes, staplers, pliers, torches, measuring tape, manicure set, phone charger and my favourite, a tea spoon!  I can actually remember many occasions being in a café and having to stir my tea with one of those ghastly wooden sticks that just breaks the tea bag open releasing the leaves.  A mouth full of those and your day is completely shot!

My own briefcase seems to collect paper!  No idea where it comes from, it just seems to grow and that is living in a paperless society.

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