Mad­die’s World

In her weekly col­umn, Mad­die Grigg shares tales from her life in ru­ral Dorset . . .

The People's Friend - - Contents -

MEET­ING my friend last week made me think about the way we were. As we rem­i­nisced about times gone by, she pro­duced some pho­tos.

There were pic­tures of me from about 1980 in our flat. A cro­cheted blan­ket hung on the wall be­hind me (I’ve no idea why), and I was wear­ing some kind of waist­coat and mil­i­tary jacket ensem­ble.

I think I was go­ing through a sort of Punkmeets-mod phase, with my favourite band at the time be­ing the Jam, while hers was Adam And The Ants.

Back then I thought I looked OK. Con­fronted by those pho­tos in the present, I’m not so sure.

Still, we were all young once, even Mr Grigg. Back in the late 1960s he was a Mod, com­plete with a Lam­bretta scooter that had lots of mir­rors.

My first flat­mate’s pic­tures, thank­fully, aren’t good enough to re­pro­duce here. But I do have one taken by an­other girl I shared a house with later.

It’s from about 1982, and I ap­pear to have gone for a kind of New Ro­man­tic meets Olivia New­ton-john look.

This pic­ture is bet­ter. Even my son was im­pressed when my friend posted it on Face­book.

“See?” my friend told him. “Your mother used to be trendy.”

The com­ment stung a lit­tle be­cause I like to think I still have a cer­tain style.

It’s no good try­ing to recre­ate my look from forty years ago. That would be mut­ton dressed as lamb.

But one thing has trans­ported me back to those times. For­get the fash­ion, the hair and the mem­o­ries.

One sniff of Rive Gauche and I’m eigh­teen again.

This rev­e­la­tion hap­pened when I was in the duty-free shop on my way back from Corfu. In amongst all the el­e­gant and elab­o­rate bot­tles – and be­fore the sneez­ing fit be­gan – I saw a sign on the Yves Saint Lau­rent stand pro­claim­ing 40 per cent off.

I moved to­wards the stand, picked up the blue and black striped bot­tle and gave my­self a quick burst of per­fume.

It hit me straight away. It was 1979, I’d had my first pay cheque and had treated my­self to a bot­tle of per­fume.

In my head, I was wear­ing my old Levi’s jacket (which I still have but can no longer do up) over a capped-sleeve T-shirt, beige ele­phant cords and mon­key boots.

The sales­woman looked at me and smiled.

“Can I help you?” she said in a Greek ac­cent.

“Oh, no, it’s just this,” I said, point­ing to the bot­tle. “I used to wear this when I was eigh­teen.”

“I know,” she said. When I looked at her with a puz­zled ex­pres­sion, the woman, who was ap­proach­ing sixty, smiled. “I did, too.”

There was a sec­ond of wom­anly bond­ing be­fore I made my ex­cuses to join Mr Grigg and my lug­gage back in the air­port lounge. “What’s that smell?” “Do you like it?” I asked, not sure if 1970s per­fume would re­ally be his bag. “It’s lovely,” he said.

So I told him about my en­counter with the Yves Saint Lau­rent sales­woman, and how spray­ing Rive Gauche had made me feel eigh­teen again.

And more than that, it was 40 per cent off the usual price.

“Then you must get a bot­tle,” he said, just like that.

So I did. ■

Check me out – Eight­ies chick!

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