In which I have a fashion dilemma



dmg media (UK)


I haven’t had a text from David 1.0 for two weeks. Is this normal in a relationship that has just been rekindled? Since making three new girlfriends at my retreat a week ago, they have sent no fewer than 90 messages (granola recipes, with photos of every step; selfies of yoga classes and strange red marks on their arms) on our Whatsapp group. The most recent was organising a twinkly pre-christmas drinkie on a rooftop in London (screen grabs of potential views, prices, cocktails, outfits and fairy lights). I suppose this illustrates the difference between men and women: the former believe they have been allocated a finite number of texts and words they can speak IRL. David’s silence has been going on for so long, I have been thinking of calling Brixton police station and asking them to knock on his door as though in an episode of Eastenders, but am worried they might be too busy, laugh at me and tell me sagely, ‘He’s just not that into you.’ When I lived in Hackney, on a street with the highest incidence of knife crime in Europe, I called the police to ask them whether, given their helicopter was clattering noisily over my house, they could also look for Susie, my tabby. I was in the middle of giving a brief description (blonde eyelashes, no white bits, slim build etc) when they rudely interrupted and threatened to charge me for wasting police time and making an unnecessary 999 call. And so I sent David this on Thursday night: ‘Hi Dave. Are you OK?* I have to be in London next Monday evening. I’ve been invited by Lord Black of Brentwood and his husband Mark Bolland** to The Garrick Club, as they want to thank everyone at Save the Asian Elephants, including me, who helped get legislation through Parliament to protect animals abroad. Can I stay with you after, as hotels are all £600-plus, breakfast not included.’ You see, I am interesting, and forward. He replied the next day, ‘Yes, of course. Flat is in a dreadful state. I get exhausted so quickly. And, wow, what an honour.’ Now, of course, I’m wondering what to wear. When I get to King’s Cross for work, I always use the basement cloakroom of the Great Northern Hotel to put on make-up and change***. It’s so luxurious and clean, and no one ever disturbs me. In fact, I am thinking of leaving some make-up, shoes and outfits there. The nice young men who work in the bar are always amazed at the transformation when I emerge ( jogging bottoms, toothpaste mouth and mad hair replaced by Victoria Beckham bodycon and eyebrows combed precisely, à la Little Mix’s Leigh-anne Pinnock). One of them actually quipped, ‘I feel just like, what was his name, Matthew Kelly.’ I’ve been given a dress code for the Garrick, but it only works if I’m a man: ‘Jackets for men, but no need for a tie.’ Is a sheer lace Prada skirt acceptable? Will an alarm go off if I’m wearing Zara? I leaf through my wardrobe, discovering to my horror my Jil Sander cashmere duster coat, bought in an emergency for £4,000 in Barneys in LA to attend the Oscars, has been eaten by a moth. My Miu Miu black trousers, too, have holes in a very unfortunate spot. As a vegan, I had asked the moths to please leave, but it seems my pleading fell on deaf antennae. I was thinking of asking Lord whatshisname if I could have a plus one, but it would take years to get David up to code. Also, I am of an age where I can’t bear to be cold or for my feet to hurt. It’s a slippery slope, isn’t it, when you start considering the shoe department in M&S, with its ballet flats that curl up like a dead spider when you take them off. Ghastly kitten heels. Tights. I am slightly guessing the evening won’t go well... *Dead **They are officially a ‘power’ couple. I think me and David can safely be described as LED ***Please don’t copy me