stories and illustration

Plastic Bag Lady

bag lady

I was living in Sunderland and had a couple of cupboards where I stored plastic bags.  My son said that I did not need all the plastic bags I was storing. This is obvious from the photograph, where there are not just the visible bags, but bags within bags. When I first met my present husband I discovered that his name for me on his computer was “bag lady”.  This did not come from my plethora of handbags but from the fact that I always seemed to be lugging stuff around in plastic bags (and had holes in my boots). These days are now gone. The growth of plastic bags in the trees of Sunderland, flapping in breezes, hanging down in rain, was not a joyous sight. I save some plastic bags still, but use them and re-use them; and I also have a lovely proper material bag with an elephant on it for carrying a book, a brush, the paper. This photograph turned up when I was unpacking my possessions which have been in store for seven years. A poignant business, and fun too in some ways. This is why I have not been posting on WordPress, I haven’t taken a photograph for some time, and as well as unpacking about 150 boxes I am deep in finishing the pictures for The Midnight Hare; I am waiting to get back to my normal life, when I could wander aimlessly for England – or Scotland maybe, as that is where I now live. I am all in favour of the charge on plastic bags, they should do the same for all plastic, and besides, it is I am sure perfectly possible to make bio-degradeable plastic; I bought some allegedly bio-degradeable bags at the Co-op last week to line my waste bin. So there.

October 11, 2017 - Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , ,


  1. This reminds me of me! I also have a reputation as a bag lady and have things in bags in bags. I had a premonition that I would end up as a cantankerous old bag lady with my possessions in bags in a shopping trolley!

    It must be quite surreal unpacking things after 7 years. We have things in storage from our move two years ago – two forty foot containers. Right now, it feels like a huge task to sort through and bring things here.


    Comment by Meanderer | October 12, 2017 | Reply

    • Yes, it is so strange to unpack boxes after boxes after all this time – it was only going to be for a couple of months to start off with. Nothing got broken in store, my packing was immaculate, but yesterday I carelessly knocked the head and shoulder off a wooden copy of the Venus de Milo that was a prized possession of my grandfather. I think woodworm weakened it, so I shall stick it back together, and then swathe it in two layers of plastic until the woodworm season, then if there is no more wood dust it shall be put in a nice position and no-one will know any difference. There is a sadness after seven years when much has happened, but good to see lovely things again that have been given to me. Good luck with the containers.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | October 12, 2017 | Reply

  2. Hilarious domestic existentialism all wrapped up in that photo Cara. This post is quite different than your others I have seen. I am catching up backwards so maybe I missed something earlier…(plastic bags tend to breed profusely if left in cupboards unattended…)

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by clinock | November 5, 2017 | Reply

    • Thought I had replied to you, John, but this seems to have gone missing. However, think I was repeating some of what was in the post. No, you missed nothing, I just found this photograph among my possessions and because I was so frazzled I didn’t have time to post photographs or paintings, so just put this photograph in for a laugh, and because it took me back to Sunderland days. I find difficulty throwing anything away, still have to force myself not to hang on to the blue plastic bands that come round the stems of our feathery organic carrots – I have moved into the “organic carrot” class, which can’t be bad.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | November 5, 2017 | Reply

      • I enjoyed your story Cara…but are the blue plastic bands organic also? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by clinock | November 6, 2017

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: