Sunday, 27 July 2008

Who's that girl?

Today I have been to the Doctor Who prom at the Royal Albert Hall. While it was an event principally aimed at matchmaking young children and classical music, Miss W and I decided it was our right to fight the prejudice against childless women in their 30s and just damn well go along ourselves. We were not alone in our struggle. Power to the middle class, unfertilised and, in a surprisingly significant number of cases, overweight geekhood! There was much to reward plucky adult and child alike. Martha! Mickey and Jackie! Daleks! Cybermen! Oods! Sontaran! Surprise appearance by Donna! A man playing the biggest drum you've ever seen! Davros rising through the floor on his pimped up mobility scooter!

As you can imagine, I left the building emotionally drained, so I reasoned that I probably deserved lunch at Harvey Nichols. I had the papers for company, but I couldn't really concentrate, since the people-watching is so compulsive at HN. Half an hour simply slid away while I was waiting for one Sophia Loren-alike's forehead to move. Is that swarthy, sunsoaked, vest-wearing twentysomething her hired lover? Her gay tennis coach? Her metrosexual stylist? Or d) all of the above? Is that Rita Tushingham or just a posh Cheshire housewife on a weekender? 

I wondered if anyone was doing the same to me. Why is that woman dining alone? Has she been stood up? I like her shoes. But why is she so incredibly pale? And then I looked down at my bare arms and noticed the localised chafing caused by carrying a WH Smith bag (a very inferior plastic bag – you could say it's a worthy green incentive, yet they have always been useless) weighed down by Sunday broadsheets and their rainbow family of supplements. And I realised that what they were probably thinking, if anything, was that I had been self-harming. 

'Poor girl. And the waiter just left the knife on the table. Right in front of her.'

And one more thing – while I knew Harvey Nichols was not positioned right on the serrated blade of the cutting edge, I was still surprised to hear The Power Of Love by Jennifer Rush power-balladeering its way across the cafe. Mary Portas would not stand for that, surely?

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