Look At It This Way - June 6, 2014

PRICE UP Queen Elizabeth II leaving after the Queen delivered her speech in the House of Lords

PRICE UP Queen Elizabeth II leaving after the Queen delivered her speech in the House of Lords

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My Bags for Life have the life of Riley. They go sightseeing, chill out in the back of the car, hardly work for a living.

It’s like a bag for life version of Lady Bracknell: “A shopping bag? Don’t you know who I am? One came from Harrods food hall. One doesn’t do Aldi, darling. A Lidl of what you fancy may do your budget good, but don’t expect ME to get out of the back of the car for less than Waitrose.”

The bags in question came to the fore this week following the Queen’s Speech in which the supermarket plastic disposable was hit with a surcharge – 5p for anyone thinking of continuing to use them.

I swopped cars at the start of my brave, new self sufficient freelance life. Given what’s happened, I should have saved the cash and invested it in mild irritation management counselling.

I traded a blue Nissan Note, bog standard, for newer beige Nissan Note N Tec, which rattles more than the older car, even after stuffing a bag for life into the luggage tray to muffle the sound. It’s a beige bag for life. Women hit the Age of Beige in their late 50s before going purple in their 70s. I blame Hotters shoes.

My latest pair are beige and perfect for chauffeuring my bags for life around, but hardly a style statement. One elderly lady I know uses a walking frame and still wears sexier shoes than I do.

Those are very sensible, she observed, before teetering off on a set of heels which would have been considered risque by the ladies in Hooker Grannies on telly the other night. And what disturbing viewing that was – especially watching with my entranced mum. Still, if the day job fails a mask and basque is standing by – in beige. And a bag for life to carry them upstairs.

Not that bags for life are bags for life. Mine pack up and quit after heavy wine consumption.

They’re only bags for life if you subsist on salad stuffs. I’d rather eat raw steaks, drink heavy reds and outlive my bags for life.

The survivor – and my money’s on the slinky off-the-shoulder Wilkinsons black model circa 2010 – can carry my ashes for burial beneath my favourite corkscrew hazel.

If bag years are like, say, dog years, I’ve carbon dated mine, by the rings left by old food stains, to when Safeway became Morrisons and consigned durable brown paper bags to history. About 10 years old?

When I bought my first Note in 2003, I only had three reusable bags in the back of the old Micra. When I got my new (old) car this year it took me half an hour to clear the bag mountain.

The nodding Churchill dog, promotional car insurance meerkats and out of date air fresheners took no time to move. Mostly because they don’t exist bar, the out-of-date air fresheners.

But the bags for life had multiplied during those long shopping trips – because I kept forgetting them.

They may practice safe ‘sacks’, but there are more of the little blighters each time I look in. In Sainsbury’s orange, Mozzers’ green – and some posh hessian House of Over Priced Product bag.

Now the Queen’s weighed in to sort it all out. She carries a handbag all the time, but who needs a bag for life when you’ve got a Fitzalan Pursuivant Extraordinary to hand – an officer in arms?

I reckon he’s got an old Woods of Windsor bag folded or a tote with a corgi on the side.

But what really irked me about the speech is this... Her Majesty had to declare a 5p plague upon our plastic bags in order to help save our gracious environment – while also pushing through a measure to prevent private land owners sending frackers packing should they run shale gas pipelines under land without prior permission.

Fracking? Try telling me it’s not in the bag.