Alan Dee: I just have to count my blessings when it comes to my bagless old bag

Mrs Dee is, as I know only too well, a remarkable woman.

Or is she a woman at all? She loves a gossip and a glass of rose and she can’t get enough of Call The Midwife, so those boxes are ticked.

But while she is known to savour a nice long sudsy soak, candles optional, get this – she hates shopping, can’t be bothered with cosmetics and the last time she tried to wear heels the poor dear nearly crippled herself.

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And the biggest question mark over her membership of the fairer sex has to be this: like a Dyson, she’s very handy around the house – and oh, how I am going to pay for that – but she is pretty much bagless.

She just doesn’t hold with handbags – keys and some cards are all she needs close to hand, she reckons, and they go in her pockets.

She’s got the odd little haversack for special occasions, and bigger bags when there is serious transporting to be done, but day to day she turns her back on toting a huge sack of stuff around with her.

Yet a survey now reveals how weird she is – your average woman owns eight handbags, it says here, but three per cent own more than 100.

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The thing I have never really got my head around in this area, and you’ll appreciate that I don’t have the chance to carry out much in the way of field research due to Mrs Dee’s lightness of load – is how it’s supposed to work.

I’ve never been entirely sure whether the idea is to have a starter pack of essentials – tissues, bits of make-up, pack of mints, comb, whatever – in every bag you own, and then just add in the everyday items like purse and phone when you have made your choice, or whether all the contents get transferred from bag to bag in a life-long game of pass the parcel.

And seeing as bags vary greatly in size, how do you decide what really is essential if you are downsizing into a clutch bag for a flash evening out? It’s all a mystery to me.

It has to be said that there are pitfalls in being linked to one who frowns on lugging bags around on a daily basis.

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She regularly mislays keys, and more worryingly bank cards, and instead of going through a collection of bags has to rifle through the pockets of sundry jackets, and let me tell you she does not stint herself on the jacket front.

That means we waste just as much time hunting down mislaid items as we would in bag choice and transfer.

I suppose one answer would be for me to grit my teeth and go with a man bag, and keep whatever stuff she needs in there.

But please, the woman already sees herself as some sort of minor royal. She won’t carry cash if we’re together, she’ll expect me to field phone calls and texts for her as well.

If I started toting a bag I might as well walk five paces behind her and call myself an equerry, so let’s not go there.

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