My parents bought me the bag. I was twentyish, hopelessly in love with a boy in Sweden and hopelessly ill-equipped to travel there.
It was a proper one. A smart little Samsonite with a combination lock and wheels. I’d never had one on wheels before. It was grown-up beige and fitted perfectly into the overhead locker. Which meantless time waiting by a luggage belt and more time holed up in that tiny flat in Södermalm.
Sadly, it turns out there’s only so much jumping on planes every other weekend you can do. So the relationship died. But the bag lived on.
It came on weekend trips to Paris and sun bleached weeks in Paros. Met the red lights of Amsterdam and the beach huts of Whitstable.
It saw weddings on Venetian canals, spotted sharks in Cape Town and welcomed a hazy new yearin that dark, sprawling house above Milan.
It rolled through LHR, GVA, LIS and FCO.
No sir, it had no aerosol cans, sharp instruments or liquids over 100ml.
And yes, I did pack it myself.
It replaced the Trunki as Olivia’s chosen ride, pulled through long glossy expanses of terminal floor by the tattooed arm of her father.
It sat patiently in the hallway through that last trimester, waiting for River. Crammed with snacks and socks, breast pads and trash mags for the long labour that never was.
And then, a few weeks ago, as we juggled our kids through the hell-dance of security, one spiteful guard decided to choose us for the random spot check. With one swift yank, he split the zip and left us stranded, with nothing but an apologetic roll of parcel tape to hold it crudely together until we got to Italy.
So goodbye bag.
You did us proud.