In three weeks time, if all goes to plan, we will be in France. Eddie, Snacker and I are driving from Scotland via England to collect my parents, who are coming with us. We invited them because there are spare seats in the car, spare beds in our French accommodation, and we enjoy spending time with them. Mum and I have long chats. Dad and I drink beer, and listen to Leonard Cohen, Dad’s favourite singer. Dad is disappointed that he never made it to a concert.
We rarely eat in French restaurants. Mum and I cook in France using ingredients from street markets and French supermarkets, the latter more visually appealing than UK supermarkets. French fruit and vegetable aisles are a visual feast; colourful and ample. Wine and beer is cheap. Seafood is fresh. When I travel, I enjoy discovering unfamiliar supermarket brands.
What do the French do with unwanted garments? I have not seen one thrift store. Almost every UK High Street has several. I want to wear French dresses, cardigans, boots, coats and handbags. I wrote an article for Real Magazine about French fashion, hair and beauty, in which I declared my admiration for French natural elegance.
I wear dresses most days, in winter with tights and summer with sandals. I found the dress and books in the photograph above at a Scottish thrift store. The West Indian Stories book appealed because I am reading my way around the world, reading English translations of foreign literature. The literature book was for a literature and creative writing course.