Astra Cigarette Bag

I've shown two bags already. This third one is very unusual. I found it in a charity shop — possibly Age Concern — in Greenwich, in 2007 or so. Astra Cigarette bag

The bag is lettered in Russian, "CIGARETTES / ASTRA": "СИГАРЕТЫ / АСТРА". At the bottom in smaller letters is the equivalent of our health warning, but from the USSR Ministry of Health: "МИНЗДРАВ СССР ПРЕДУПРЕЖДАЕТ КУРЕНИЕ ОПАСНО ДЛЯ ВАШЕГО ЗДОРОВЬЯ".

Some Googling taught me that Astras are made by a Moldovan company, Tutun-CTC. Indeed, their products page shows a pack. An image search for Astra turns up bags captioned in several languages, including Moldovan, Lithuanian, and Uzbek.

I don't carry this bag around as much as the other two I've shown, but I do use it regularly. It's just the right size to hold the Derwent Coloursoft pencils that I do most of my coloured drawings with. You can just see two trays sticking out of the top.

Pages from the Oxford Book of Tourists

I once made an American tourist very happy. I walked near her with my camera, and pretended to take her photo. I then told her that she'd been specially selected to feature in the Oxford Book of Tourists. She was ecstatic. I did more for the Special Relationship that year than anybody else except perhaps Tony Blair agreeing to support whatever war the US wanted to get on with.

That was a practical joke: as far as I know, there is no Oxford Book of Tourists. At least, Google finds only two occurrences, both mine. But I think there should be, on the same principle that one can learn about other parts of the solar system by studying meteorites. Here's a group of tourists that I photographed in Ship Street in Oxford yesterday:
Group of drab tourists in Ship Street, Oxford.

And here's a collage of tourists made last September, from my photos here:
Groups of drab tourists in central Oxford.

Chromophobia, it seems, is world-wide.

In or Out?

I was walking through the local market last week, wearing my EU beret:
Dark blue EU beret with yellow stars One of the stallholders shouted at me, "You should be wearing it half-on and half-off!"

I walked through the market again yesterday. Another acquaintance mentioned the Halloween extension, and told me that it would have been much better had we left today. Astrologically speaking, he said, April 12th is auspicious. October 31st is not.

Multicoloured Satchel Bag

This is a bag which I use almost every day, bought from Fez. It looks like an old-style school satchel, but in fact it closes by magnetic snaps. One can be seen behind the left buckle in the final photo.
Multicoloured satchel bag
Multicoloured satchel bag
Multicoloured satchel bag

I was carrying the bag on the bus one day, and another passenger said to me, "That looks like a Daisy Did bag!". A quick search led me to What Daisy DidWayback, a page on the EthicalShop site advertising leather bags made from recycled materials by Daisy and Ozric, founders and partners of What Daisy Did. There are pictures of some colourful Daisy Did satchels in a 24th March 2016 post on Erica Louise's Recycled Fashion blog, "What Daisy Did: Ethically Made Satchels and Fashion Accessories"Wayback.