Its ok, you haven't gone into another parallel universe this is a business blog.
Like many women I carry my whole life in my handbag, both business and personal.
It weighs at least 9lbs and I cannot cull anything, NO nothing at all. In fact I got bought a selfie stick for my iPhone for Christmas and, although it's clearly essential, I can't quite fit it in!
So what's in there? Just tipped it onto the table, so here goes;
• Chargers (well batteries don't last all day)
• Cheque book
• Paying in book
• Credit card holder
• Business card holder
• Hair brush (full size, little ones no use)
• Make up bag
• Hand wipes (have you used a loo on east coast recently)
• Keys (house, flat office and car)
• Oyster card holder
• Note book x 2
• Pen x, well quite a few actually
• Hair bobble or two
• iPod and separate charger (others don't fit)
• Packet of tissues
• Breath freshener
• Shopping list x, also quite a few
• 1/2 a bar of chocolate
• Emergency only packet of jelly babies
• Foreign currency wallet
• Driving licence
• Bottle of water
• Bottle of Coco Chanel
• Hotel size sewing kit
• Pack of Paracetamol
• Small box of plasters
• Various receipts
• Collection notes for dry cleaning
• Shoe repair
• Pack of post it notes
• Spare pair of tights
• Hair ribbon (not sure why that's there)
• And strangely enough a (not very clean!) dish cloth
The bag is with me at all times and carrying this amount of stuff in a handbag requires a certain amount of muscle power!
But then again it's better than lifting weights in some boring gym or other.
I am also the go to girl when someone needs something as I almost certainly will have it to hand so when people moan about my bag they still like to come to me when I have what they clearly need.
Today women in business need to remain as infallible as they can at all times. That is not to say we are to become cold and unapproachable, but we need to ensure our 'weapons of war' as it were are in tip top shape. If that means carrying around an arsenal of, what some might see as unnecessary items, then bring them on.
My hair must be brushed before every meeting, I must have a constant connection with my MD and office team, I cannot succumb to a headache (should one decide to attempt to breach my defences) and I must always smell like a million quid.
These things are not just for the benefit of the people I may meet during the day (although they stood me in good stead when a certain Mr Tom Cruise appeared at the table next to me not so long ago) but without them I would feel vulnerable, and we simply cannot have that.
So tell me honestly is there anything NOT essential? Me thinks not!
Just trying to squeeze the selfie stick in and all set for tomorrow.