It was all going swimmingly. We’d had lunch in Geneva, got soaked under the fountain on the lake (it was a boiling hot day) and got to the airport in good time to drop Olivia off for her flight to Italy where she is going to stay with my mother for three weeks.
“Watch out for pickpockets,” read a sign as we walked in. I warned Olivia to keep a close eye on her new Nintendo DS, I know she would be heartbroken if she lost it.
After check-in we went upstairs for a coffee. We sat down and I started to write out a list of people Olivia needs to write thank you letters to for her birthday presents. Suddenly I felt something like a chill wind behind me and it was gone…..
My beautiful handbag. I stood up and shouted, I ran around looking feverishly for some man with a green Birkin bag, the Swiss around went about their business calmly, probably assuming I was a lunatic.
If only we hadn’t gone to that cafe, if only I had put all our passports in the glove compartment as I’d meant to, if only I’d been using my Montegrappa pen instead of leaving it “safely” in my bag. And the worst of it is my nine lip-glosses and Gucci prescription sunglasses. I hope the little shit who stole my bag puts them on and falls in Lake Geneva.
But you know what, despite it all, all I could think of as I gave the police my statement was ‘thank God it wasn’t one of the children’. Olivia is on her way to Rome and the other two are asleep in the back.
“I’m sorry you lost your handbag and your beautiful pink pen,” said Bea before she fell asleep. “But at least you have your phone and your laptop.”
And I have them. And Rupes. And my Jerome Gruet hat (I’m not daft enough to put that in my handbag) and an excuse to buy a new handbag, obviously.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008
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