natalie wall le blow blog #myradley

On carrying too much brain baggage

Travel light in life. Take only what you need: a loving family, good friends, simple pleasures, someone to love, and someone to love you; something to eat, enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink for thirst is a dangerous thing.
– Anonymous

When I feel weighed down by the baggage of daily life, I need to somehow lighten my load, spiritually speaking.

I’ve spoken about my love for the sea before, but unfortunately the closest I usually get to seeing some seriously scenic H2O is the water feature in the communal gardens where I live.

Like some kind of sea-faring sailor (well, I do like a nautical stripe), I like to take myself off to flowing water for a spot of reflection. And no, I don’t mean to go and gaze longingly at my #OOTD in the shimmering sea.

I think it works like a form of aided mediation. Mentally unpacking my thoughts and anxiety. When you’re walking into what feels like infinity, with the tide setting a rhythmic pace alongside you, you can’t help but to focus on the here and now, and let your worries quite literally wash away.

*insert all the peace sign emojis here*

A-N-Y-W-A-Y, seeing as the nearest coast line is like twenty trillion miles away from where I live, the next best (most accessible) thing is The Grand Union Canal, which flows freely through my ‘hood.

There are a few places for me to join it, but this time I headed to Cassiobury Park in Hertfordshire to go for a ‘what’s-the-blaaaady-meaning-of-life-anyway’ wander to shed some of the excess baggage in my brain.

Cassiobury Park Watford

Knowing I’d be out for the day and with the good ol’ changeable British weather being all sunny-but-cold-and-now-it’s-raining-but-now-it’s-not (like, SRSLY!), I needed a bag that could carry errr’ything I could possibly need – cos there’s no going back once you’re halfway along the canal path, and if you’re a touch OCD like me, you need to be prepared for all eventualities.

It appears I was pondering baggage both mentally and physically as I used this opportunity to take my brand new Radley bag out for a spin.

natalie wall le blow blog #myradley

Pashmina scarf + fringed Western coat – charity shop finds
High-waist jeans – ASOS
Ankle boots – old Topshop, similar here
Bag – c/o Radley

Isn’t she a beauty?

Spoiler: When Radley got in touch to see if I’d give one of their bags a go, I must admit that I honestly didn’t think there’d be a suitable style for me, seeing as my ‘look’ is inherently bohemian and I thought their bags were far too pretty and ladylike for a hairy ol’ hippy like me!

But then I spotted their beautiful Border style: a big cross-body bag in – my favourite! – tan leather. SOLD.* To the gal in double denim (not even sorry tbh).

I don’t know about you but recently I’ve been doing that thing of being all smug about having a teeny tiny handbag that just about fits my iPhone, Oyster card and lipstick, but then carting around my remaining crap – tablet, camera, notebook, pen, 32984290384 tissues, etc – in a huge (heavy) tote bag slung across my shoulder.


natalie wall le blow blog #myradley

natalie wall le blow blog #myradley
Denim shirt – old TK Maxx

It’s roomy enough that you can actually fit in the things that you need, IN ONE BAG. Plus there’s all sorts of swish compartments inside so I need never have another one of *those* moments when, flustered at the checkout at the supermarket, I rummaged so fiercely through my handbag to find my bank card, I catapulted out a Tampax onto the conveyor belt.


Having road-tested it for the day, I can confirm:

  1. It closes securely – important, if you’re a scatter-brain like me and usually walk around with your bag being an open invitation for pick-pockets and the like
  2. The leather is buttery soft – I have some bags that are so structured and stiff that I’ve actually made my cuticles bleed (sorry) when trying to shove my (seemingly fat) hand inside.
  3. It’s a looker – despite being a ‘casual bag’ to cart around one’s crap, it’s sleek appearance gets many an admiring glance – I’ve had more than one person stop me to ask where it’s from *smug face*
  4. It fits your bits – as mentioned above, I was able to comfortably fit my Olympus PEN, tablet, iPhone, sunglasses AND a load of makeup inside this Tardis-like creation. Mary Poppins, eat your heart out.

PLUS, in keeping with the whole point of my walk, it legit helped me to remain calm because there was ZERO anxiety about whether I should have brought X, Y and Z with me. I, my friends, quite literally had this outing IN THE BAG. Oh yes, I went there. Not soz.

It also occurred to me that we’d never try to stuff our expensive bags to the brim, but we’re happy to overload our poor brains to the brim with pointless thoughts and unnecessary worry. What is WITH that?

Before long, the sun started to set – HELLO INSTAGRAM OPPORTUNITY – and it was time to weave my way back home.

Cassiobury Park watford

First outing complete, I’m pretty sure me and my leather-y new accomplice will be going on another adventure together real soon.

Especially now I know it can safely keep all of my crap my inner sanctum intact. Cos after all, in the travels of life, it’s nice to go with only carry-on baggage, ain’t it?


*Gifted. But catalogue-style posing and rambling monologue all my very own.

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  • Comments

  • avatar

    Amazing photography!

    • avatar
      Natalie Wall

      Thanks (on behalf of my #InstagramHusband)!

  • avatar
    Me me me


    • avatar
      Natalie Wall

      Ha ha, thanks! Always find the cheapo ones suit me best!

  • avatar

    Really like the bag – not usually a Radley fan! ????

    • avatar
      Natalie Wall

      Thank you – and I used to think Radley was too pretty/ladylike for me too, until I found this little beaut x

  • avatar
    Rachel T

    That bag is lush – and in the sale now, wooo!

    • avatar
      Natalie Wall

      I KNOW RIGHT?!

  • avatar
    Suzie C

    I can totally relate to this. If I didn’t practise daily yoga and meditation I think I’d go insane. Getting back to nature regularly is also important. It’s hard to switch off the mind sometimes.

    • avatar
      Natalie Wall

      Yeah, I sometimes wish there was an off switch for my overactive mind!

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