Do any of my male readers use them?
Being of the age that I am I would have once thought them taboo. If someone had suggested I use one 30 years ago I would probably have responded like a horrified Lady Bracknell.......'A Handbag?'...................... but, of course, in a deep manly voice.
However that refusal to use a bag of any kind meant bulging pockets. And not bulging with my masculinity either. But with keys, wallet, loose change and with the advent of mobile phones another bulge appeared giving me the appearance of Mr Lumpy with a colostomy bag on his left tit.
My jackets would bcome misshapen and my trousers would hang low. My paunch only added to the problem. In the summer it was hell. I'd sometimes wear a jacket just so I had the pockets. And sweated like hell.
It started quite subtly. On holiday in Italy it was too hot to wear much so pockets were scarce. I got a little thing with pockets and zips. A bit like a bum bag but with a shoulder strap and it was made of waterproof material.
It was practical and could not be confused with the kind of bag that my wife used. And it was a godsend.
But it was a little too small. So my pockets still bulged, although not as much and I had nowhere for my camera. With the bag and camera straps slung over me and maybe a waterbottle I felt like a soldier on campaign.
So I graduated to a bigger bag. This had all sorts of compartments with zips and did the trick and held all of my stuff. I was hooked.
But it was utilitarian. I wandered into a shop that sold more stylish bags. I saw one that had some leather on it. Buckles too. I bought it. I even posed in the mirror before buying it. Furtively of course.
Now when I'm out with my wife in the summer and need something to carry my things in we both will end up rummaging for stuff and find all sorts of things we forgot were in there.
So far I haven't found any lipstick. Or a tampon.
But one day.