Saturday 4 April 2009

The Sequinned Bag

Among photos scattered around my house is one of a small family - an upright man, an anxious woman in a pretty hat and a pretty, plump child in a velvet coat. There is another photo of the father of this family in naval uniform. This family is no relation at all to me but I knew the pretty child when she was an old woman, a spinster - but not, as she always assured me, an unclaimed treasure! She was the last of the line, with no descendents. I feel happy that these photos make her ours by adoption.

I thought of her last week when I was running an original writing workshop for International Women's Day (called Handbags and Gladrags). Amid sisterly laughter we looked for inspiration to, among other things, the contents of our handbags. I found myself thinking and writing about that pretty child, my old friend Isabel.

A Mattisse drawing,
Of a woman dreaming
An ink pen and notebook,
Bleeding life
Battered bills to document money
Concert tickets never used
Strepsils to stop the screaming
Bright green purse, handmade -
Bought in France, a heart’s home.
A small sequinned bag, left to me
By my old friend Isabel, among
Her ‘personal effects’ -
Along with corsets, nightgowns, old fur coats
Edwardian photos of her sailor father,
Her mother, (the dressmaker),
And Isabel herself at three years old
Wearing a favourite, homemade velvet dress.

So - nothing of value,
Except the sequinned bag in which I keep
My mobile phone, which now I never lose...

1 comment:

  1. Wendy!! This is amazing, so clever. Did you stay up all night? I absolutley love the title and the layout, inc pictures. I am really jealous and want to get my blog up asap - looking at, and reading your blog just reinforces for me what a truly creative thing blogging is. Debora has really started something...
    I hope I'm the first person to post a comment - I subscribe to this living twice idea - after all its why writers have more fun

    Love A xx



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