The winter was long this year, so a perfect time for me to write. While the snow covered Amsterdam, my thoughts were in Africa, working on a new Tata&Squack adventure about elephants. Cycling through Amsterdam, shopping for my groceries, I decided to nourish the mind with new images and stories and visit the Museum of Bags and Purses. I must have passed the beautiful canal house at the Herengracht hundreds of times during the last years, but I never stopped for a visit. At the Museum I learned it all had started with the private bag collection of Hendrikje Ivo who collected bags for more than 35 years. The Museum displays bags in all kinds of shapes, like the evening bag “Socks” named after the Clinton family cat, made by Judith Leiber. Animals have formed a source of fascination and inspiration to humans since time immemorial, which is why images of animals are so often used as adornment on bags, wallets and purses. A little elephant bag “rumbled” me right back to my writing table. In 2013 Amsterdam is celebrating the construction of its ring of canals 400 years ago. In celebration the Museum of Bags and Purses reveals the interesting stories of the families who lived in this special house.