Genuinely Quite Scary

Le Pantechnicon

Compact and demure looking, isn’t it?


When I posted the contents of my handbag, making reference to my Mom’s bag (aka Le Pantechnicon), I had no idea.

No idea.

Either I’ve forgotten just how much crapola my mother carries around or she’s anticipating a string of global disasters. Those of you living in the path of hurricanes take note.

Here are the contents of my mother’s handbag, purse and (ahem) personal mobile pharmacy. Requiring not one but three (3) pictures to capture it all.

Le Pantechnicon (Handbag … Purse … Whatever)

Inside le Pantechnicon

  1. ID document and driver’s license.
  2. Expired passport.
  3. Gran’s bank card.
  4. Casio digital notebook.
  5. Assorted scrap paper, including a wrapper from a ball of wool.
  6. Miniature Dawn hand cream.
  7. Anti-heartburn discs (escaped from the mini-pharmacy? see below).
  8. Paracetamol (in an Advil bottle bought in Canada in 1992).
  9. Squished pack of tissues.
  10. Sunglasses (1997). Useless because they are not prescription. In a case sent by Sue, circa 1989.
  11. Assorted papers: Unemployment claim form (just retired); photo of blouse Sue wants from Edgars; raffle tickets for a car; Power of Attorney and Letters of Executorship for aunt deceased 2003.
  12. Three pens. One works.
  13. Purse (itemized below).
  14. Keys: 2 for the car, 3 for the front door, 2 for the mailboxes, one for the security door at top of stairwell. Much lighter than in the old days.
  15. Seven-year-old brick cellphone in “fone sox.”
  16. Sachets of salt.
  17. Breath freshener.
  18. Ancient comb and now-smooth emery board for nails.
  19. Mobile pharmacy (itemized below).
  20. Calculator (remember this).
  21. Three books of regular postage stamps.
  22. Huge nylon shopping bag that folds up into a tiny bag.

Le Banque (aka Purse, Wallet)

Pictures of kids with spouses and assorted bank and credit cards not itemized (because I think she knows I’d have a fit if I knew how many credit cards she uses … grin).

Inside le purse


  1. Inner pouch with assorted credit card receipts, two from visit to Victoria, 1999. Did I mention that my mother is just a tad more sentimental than me?
  2. $1 bill dated 1974 from her first trip to Mauritius and the Seychelles in 1976 (also in the inner pouch).
  3. Coins in clip section, notes in middle pouch.
  4. Medical insurance contact numbers.
  5. Medical insurance card.
  6. Pensioner’s card.
  7. Scruffy, but still sealed and therefore sterile, elastoplast dressing.
  8. Size/style tab cut off one of her bras, in case she can locate the same style (at Woolworths, I’m guessing).
  9. Assorted cards and receipts.
  10. Post-office receipts for Christmas 2005 gifts to kids in San Diego (Sue and Dave) and New Zealand (AJ and Julie).

Le Mobile Pharmacy

No comment, except to say that Dave is probably right; I get my reliance on over-the-counter pharmaceuticals from my mother.

    Le mobile pharmacy

    1. Miniature bottle of Imprevu perfume.
    2. Adco-Cyclizine (Anti-puke).
    3. Cetirizine-Hexel (Antihistamine).
    4. Beyer’s Aspirin (for Gran).
    5. Ciprimil/Cilift (Anti-depressive).
    6. Adco-Loperamide (Anti-diarrheal).
    7. Rennies antacid.
    8. Tiny calculator (another one?)
    9. Lip Ice (equivalent of Burt’s).
    10. Tweezers.
    11. Tiny screwdrivers (to fix glasses).
    12. Key for luggage lock that no longer exists.
    13. Stone from the Dead Sea.
    14. Stone from the Sea of Gallilee.
    15. Stone from her father’s grave in Bath, England.
    16. “Lucky Charm” bought from a Gypsy lady outside Westminster Abbey.

      As my brother would say, “Scary, Mom. Genuinely … scary.”


      3 responses to “Genuinely Quite Scary

      1. Glad you had a giggle…but when I was a Girl Guide ( ;-) ) our motto was “Be Prepared” …..
        I guess I went a bit OTT!!

      2. Still travelling light hey Mom? Good to know you can get away quickly, yet be prepared to set up your own Red Cross Civil Defense unit at the drop of a hat! Perhaps you should patent these “Anti-Urban Disaster packs”…

      3. Wow. This actually makes me feel a *lot* better about my diaper bag. Thanks for sharing the misery!

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