Sunday, 22 February 2009

The perfect skirt

Today I found it - the perfect skirt. I happened upon it as I was going somewhere else, thinking about other things, in a rush. I was doing a workshop, and had to go to the post office early, to pick up a couple of packages. In one of the parcels were cans of gold and silver spray. I knew I needed to collect them before driving off to conduct the workshop somewhere outside of London. So I got up early, and headed down to Deptford in South East London to collect my booty. Being a Saturday morning, the stall holders were setting up, and some were already in full swing as I made my way down the high street, hurrying so as to get back home in time to pack my car, to drive the road, to reach the place, to greet the girls to deliver the workshop that Jack built. I knew I mustn't be waylaid, as I invariably am as I go through markets, so I was unusually single-minded. UNTIL that is, I reached the Catholic church. Oustide, a notice caught my eye - dresses for £1. Now I don't know if you're anything like me, but at times like these, a price like that is not to be ignored. So I started rifling throuh the rails. That familiar excitement started inside - you know, that slight thrill when you just know you've chanced upon something special. The dresses were what I call "old-lady lovelies" - crimplene, nylon, man-made in gaudy seventies colours - in other words, the sort of frocks that I LOVE! Each came with its original tag - seemingly as good as new. "But how could this be?" I asked myself biblically. I chatted to the guy who owned the stall and he told me the story - how the stuff had all come from a big warehouse in London which had been owned by a company that had gone out of business. All the stock was from the seventies and eighties, and although a little grubby from having been neglected, had never been worn. What a goldmine! The guy bought the entire lot - seven or eight lorry-loads and was selling everything for £1 a piece at Deptford market. He didn't want any more cash than that he said, but the youngsters were buying the outfits ten at a time. I could see why - although the fabric might make you sweat and zings with static, the cut and colour is just perfect. I bought three dresses and a two piece suit, of which my skirt is the better half. It's a sort of brown and cream tweed crimplene and fits like a glove - skimming in the right places, and enhancing in others. I am in love, and yet it was a completely chance encounter. I have spent many months searching for the perfect skirt - in London, Paris and Rome. But in spite of looking determinedly in trendy markets, designer boutiques and second-hand stores, it's completely evaded me - until now. I wasn't looking and I didn't expect to find it, but in the end it happened so easily and was just what I needed. Is the perfect skirt a little like love?

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