Saturday, January 23, 2010


Curiously weary, having achieved my 365 days. But I am going to get to the end of the alphabet, come what may... My feet are weary, too, having for once worn something resembling high heels, in order to look Respectable (and respectful) at a wake (another example of the unphotographable). It's curious how old clothing practices persist. I don't mean wearing black, or black and grey (though I didn't, alas, have the time to dig out my obsidian earrings that I bought in Brazil, and that for ten years have been standard black funereal wear for my earlobes) - rather, the way in which St Paul's Girls' School in the later 60s and early 70s instilled in one The Importance of Wearing a Skirt. For we did not have school uniform - but at the same time we weren't, then, allowed to wear pants - let alone jeans - according to the guiding principles that Women Were Not Expected to Wear Pants to Work out there in the wide world for which we were being prepared. However much I tore off my skirts when I got home from school, however much I longed to be a "student" - that extra term, between A levels and what was, in those days, post-A level Oxbridge entrance - for then, yes, we were allowed to wear pants; however much one of the bonuses of being on school sports teams (netball, lacrosse) was being able to wear jeans when we went off to play other schools at weekend games - I still, at some level, internalized the idea that to wear a skirt was to be respectable. I managed to avoid that imperative today (in any case, my small collection of skirts makes me look somewhere between a cowgirl, a hippy, and a loony cat lady, none of which are quite appropriate for a funeral home) - but capitulated to the heels. Hence, very weary arches.

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