Lorna: I somehow suspect the problem is that men are designing women's accessoires....

May be we should clue them in sometime....

Been to the shoerepairstore in the mean time and the guy is actually willing to have a go at it ! Now waiting for him to call me that the bag is ready & all repaired ;-)

The one I have is actually quite smart, but still has all the practical amendities which I listed above. I'm happy I'll be able to use it for another number of years quite soon now.