I’ve told you about my Thai “sister” before. We have known each other for 10 years now and talk daily (depending on how busy we both are). I was hoping to have time to stopover in Bangkok on my way to or from Bhutan but, alas, couldn’t fit it in.

I asked Lalida whether Cath Kidston bags were sold in Bangkok. She found out that yep, there is a Cath Kidston shop in one of Bangkok’s many shopping malls and asked me what I was after. I sent her a photo of the red bag you see below – but then didn’t get to Thailand.

Next thing I know, Lalida had secured the bag in a 25% off sale (bargain!) and was going to send it to me. I lectured her on not spending money. We joke about how I “lecture” when I’m telling her not to do this or that. Of course, she never listens!

So about a week ago, the lovely red bag arrived in New Zealand with a card that says If I Don’t See You Pretty Soon. This is also a bit of a joke between us as I visited Bangkok in 2011 especially to see Lalida but she has yet to visit New Zealand. I joke I am on protest, refusing to visit Thailand, until she visits us.

Meanwhile, this will become a much-loved and used handbag that will remind me of Lalida.