Thursday, March 28, 2013
back to basics
It seems a while since I have talked about shopping. I am pleased to report that I do even less of it now. I did buy a jumper in December, but that was because I realised I only had one jumper that I properly liked and I had the clairvoyant sense that we were in for another unforgivingly cold winter. I think I have the clothes thing sorted: two jumpers and two trousers plus silk thermal undergarments in the winter and the same two jumpers and trousers in spring and autumn, minus the silk thermals, which can then serve as indoor 'leisurewear'; thinner trousers and a selection of tops for summer. Pushing the boat out a bit with summer as it is unpredictable. Footwear, as you know, is basically either Uggs or Birkenstocks.
Occasionally one needs Accessories. So it was that I recently found myself in a shop with a voucher left over from Christmas. it was a voucher I had planned to give Stepson. I lost it, bought him another and then found it again in the new year. I decided to spend it on a handbag because mine is on the small side - it can accommodate a Kindle but not a a book. So I bought a bag, got home and found it was useless and suddenly very ugly when one put anything into it. This is the kind of thing that happens when I shop, it took three attempts to get the right Uggs. It's ok because I returned the bag and now have the voucher again. No harm done, apart from the expenditure of energy. But on my second trip I decided to see if I could get a couple of bars of soap. Not easy, as I have banged on about here. I was in East Street in Brighton and had the choice of any number of shops, including Crabtree and Evelyn, Lush, L'Occitane and Space NK. Call me mean, but though I am delighted to get posh soaps as gifts I am not prepared to go into double figures for a couple of bars of what is supposed to be an everyday commodity. In supermarkets, Dove is still cornering the market, as far as I can see. But Imperial Leather seems to be making a come-back. After my handbag-return trip I went into the ragged corner shop opposite Brighton flat and bought a couple of bars for a pound each. Success. Apart from other considerations, it smells of decades past, which were not necessarily better than the decade I now find myself in but gives a sense of continuity rather than a sense (increasingly) of feeling oneself to be an extra-terrestrial with no direction home. Of course in the old days Imperial Leather was marketed as something that could give us all the experience of a little daily luxury (see below). Not that we were fooled. I mean, who was washing with lard and ashes, even in the seventies? And it would have been perfect if she had said Bognor instead of Tahiti.
I am going to the launch of a friend's poetry book tonight. There are many I miss, but this one is possible because it's in Brighton and I have allowed a night either side in the flat. A group of us have met above a pub in Lewes each month for several years, to workshop poems, and she is taking us for a meal beforehand to celebrate. And tomorrow is the neighbour's annual Good Friday bun party.
If I don't see you before Easter, have a good one.