ONE of the chief benefits of my life Abroad, apart from the Philipino cleaner, free house, car and school, was that no-one else got the Boden catalogue. That meant that not only did my children and I get credited with a certain effortless English elan, but also that we didn’t have toe-curling encounters with the same outfit every time we went to the supermarket.
Oh, how different things are in Dulwich. It isn’t just that I miss all my old friends dreadfully. It’s also that I hate not being the only Mummy wearing Johnnie’s double-breasted velvet coat. Call me manically possessive, but it’s mine, mine, MINE I tell you, and does not belong to Pushy Mother or any of her cohorts who have taken to swanning around in it on the same day that I do.
Mind you, Bodenitis can sometimes be useful. Come new catalogue time – and the Spring one has just sprung, as I’m sure you know – and the playground is awash with pensive mummies. Are they stressing about how to get little Henry’s powerpoint presentation on the Three Little Pigs finished on time, when he also has to practice for his Grade Three harp exam? Well, yes – but they’re also fretting about what to buy from Boden. Give it a few more weeks, and the first brave new shoots will start to appear. A Favourite V Neck Cardigan in the new pink melange here, an ill-advised Printed Swishy Skirt there, and then bam, the playground will be knee-deep in Merino Henleys.
This is frightening, but can be handy. You see, I can be dithering about an item for ages, then I suddenly see it walking through the village and achieve total closure on it – yeeeesh! Another lucky escape. There’s something so enticing about those jumbo prints when draped on a stick-thin model which has never, ever translated successfully to my more complicated personal topography. On the other hand, these sightings can twist the knife exquisitely. The velvet coat, you see, was another case of the dithers. I hummed and ha-ed, my finger poised on the ‘buy’ button, for just too long. The purple I wanted was sold out, and I comprised on a fawny sort of brown. Which is ok. Well, it’s fine. No really, it is. Except that Pushy got the purple one.
I know this is sacrilege, and I feel awful even asking, but is there anything else out there? I don’t, of course, mean an actual shop, but a nice online thingy where I can press a few buttons in between whiny blogs and the odd jot of work. I’m not sure I could actually bring myself to be unfaithful to Johnnie, but surely it wouldn’t hurt to look ….