Thursday11th August 2011
And London seems to be back to its’ normal hustle and bustle. Nothing seems to halt its’ avaricious progress or growth. The masses of tourists keep on flocking here; the economic migrants from Eastern Europe and Russia; more and more Chinese everywhere you look, and of course, the Wealthy, who never seem to tire of the fashionable restaurants of Mayfair and the shops of Bond Street. I can remember when Bond Street was so different back in the early seventies. It was still trendy, but it was almost a secret world, discovered only by the lucky few cognoscenti. It was still predominated by fashion, but not by the big names; the Christian Diors, the Guccis and the like. It was a much more higgledy-piggledy affair, with tiny boutiques and hairdressers and shoe shops – always new ones opening or closing. And the clothes were really original too, not seeming to be mass-produced as are today’s “Designer Items”. Nobody called them designers either back then; it wasn’t cool to parade a name on the outside of clothes or be decked out in Burberry check. And I really think it was friendlier too, although I couldn’t afford to actually shop there that often, I used to pop into one or two favourites and the girls there all seemed to know me, and were quite happy for me to browse, all of us knowing I had no real intention of buying. Now, you go into a clothes shop and are either deliberately ignored, so that even if you like something, there is no chance of finding it in your size, or a different shade – or are descended on by vultures of sales assistants, who hover dangerously close, so that you are instantly intimidated and don’t even want to stay another minute in their wretched shop. Or maybe it is just that I was young then, and now I am just another old woman who should really have known better than to have wandered into the territory of the new and fearless. Ah, well.