Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's in your purse/suitcase?

Recently, courtesy of a bunch of bushfires, I was looking at the possibility of having to evacuate my home with very little warning.

Now I admit I am weird. I own thousands of books and over two hundred ornamental frogs and I decided not to pack any of them. How could I choose just one or two? It would be like choosing one child. I ended up putting my passport and a clean pair of undies in my purse and making sure I was wearing shoes. Well, it is summer here and I usually go barefoot six months of the year.

I am the person who travelled around the world with three sets of clothes – one on, one in the wash and one tidy outfit. Yes, I already admitted I am weird.

So I get quite annoyed when reading a book where, whatever happens, the heroine drags the appropriate outfit or item from her purse/suitcase. A friend agreed with me and called it “a suitcase the depth of the Cayman Trench” syndrome. Her must-haves were passport/ID, money and tampons. Another friend is more the Boy Scout type. Her purse includes a roll of duct tape, a Leatherman multi-tool, meds, spare glasses, Sony reader/charger, cell phone/charger, small notepad and pen, a spool of waxed twelve cord (very strong string!) and a lighter.

Another friend commented, “Purse? What’s a purse? I tend to set those down and forget them in various public places. Wallet goes in one back pocket of the jeans, cell phone in the other. Front pocket has lip balm, a hair elastic, and occasionally a small stash of pain reliever. Keys go on a carabiner clip to the belt loop, with mini Swiss army knife. What more does one need? Oh, sunglasses on top of head.”

So, do you get annoyed when the heroine of the book is sitting on the beach in her bikini, and she is suddenly invited to a party and instantly pulls a sexy ballgown out of her suitcase? Or would there be one in your suitcase too?

This blog has been reprinted from, Sunday 22 March 2009
Helen  Woodall


Amber Skyze said...

First of all, please be safe and keep us posted.
I haven't read any books where the heroine was able to everything out of her purse/suitcase except the kitchen sink, but if I did it would definitely tick me off. I know it's fiction but we have to be realistic. :)

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

Thanks Amber. I wrote this a while ago. The drought has broken and there's no more bushfire danger here now. Sorry to frighten you!