Come on baby, baby, now feel the waltz…
For whatever reason I found myself having tea in Carnaby Street in the drizzle at 8.30 on a Saturday morning. Huddled under a cafe umbrella and wrote my morning pages and then thought – hell yeah! i’m a’goin shopping.
I can’t remember the last time I went clothes shopping. Though I am acutely aware that I only have 2 pairs of trousers that I like wearing and one of them has big hole in the groin (not good) and the other is stained with seaside tar (also not great). So shopping for trousers didn’t seem such a bad plan.
Oxford Street early on a Saturday morning is wild. All the smart shop assistant, wincing in the bright neon from their hangovers, but glittering still from the fun and dizzyness they enjoyed out the night before. The shops all palatial and smart, swept and polished by a team of midnight cleaners – another secret world – and empty of all the normal Saturday shoppers who are still at home in bed.
I strolled around. Bought a couple of pairs of jeans just like that. (Sometimes I can mooch for months deciding whether to buy one – but this morning I nailed two within an hour). And then drifted into Urban Outfitters.
My friend Mac in New York tells me we should boycott Urban Outfitters because it’s boss supports ultra-conservative, gay-bashing Congressmen. That’s a shame because it’s the nicest place to clothes shop in London. It also has a groovy record shop seeded into the tailored fabric of it’s menswear section. So still accessing ‘things I haven’t done for ages’ I went and listened to a few CDs.
ITunes Shop has pretty much killed those visits to music emporia for me. Is that bad or good? I don’t really know. I remember the almost panic-inducing trance I would get into in HMV. ‘Must find new music. Must find new tunes.’ And then after half an hours euphoria – ‘I am cool. This is cool. I am young and plugged in’ – I would crumple inwards into a stew of over-consumption and leave the shop an hour later with a bagfull of CDs I would never listen to again.
But this morning – all was well with the world. I stood stock still by the listening post and listened to 4 tracks from Regina Spektor’s new album. Those listening posts always have incredibly good headphones. The music never sounds as crystal clear at home. But i was entranced. I listened past the obvious Fiona-Applely-ness of her voice and fell in love with the line:
“His daughter is twenty years of falling snow.”
How perfect is that.
My morning was complete.