Juniper Boothroyd-Smythe, l’enfant terrible of St Vitus’ School for the
Academically Gifted Girl, had tired of yarn bombing and so she decided
to concentrate on street photography for her art project.
Having been impressed by Ari Seth Cohen’s blog which celebrates silver
fashionistas, she saw her photo opportunity as Magda wheeled her
nonagenarian charge, Ginevra Brewer-Mead down High Street,
You look amazing! Would you give me permission to include you in my
portfolio of Living National Sartorial Treasures? Juniper enquired.
Ginevra nodded vigorously, the egret feather on her hat swaying in
the breeze. She pouted at the lens.
Where do you source your fantastic outfits? Juniper asked, getting her pencil
‘Fantastic’ was a fairly just adjective, but Ginevra detected no ambiguity.
I always have a sneak preview of Help the Ancient’s biennial Designer Sales,
she confessed. But don’t tell anyone else. They would be jealous.
The interview continued.
What has inspired your signature style, would you say?
Well, I’ve always approved of that poem: When I am an old woman, I shall
wear purple, Ginevra stated confidently. She didn’t admit that it was the
only poem that she could remember.
Oh, we studied that one in our GCSE anthology, Juniper enthused, noting
down phrases such as ‘exophorically-referenced style statement.’
And what is your name, dear? asked Ginevra. She was sure that she had
seen this girl before- perhaps in grand-daughter Tiger-Lily’s school
It’s the same as yours, actually, Juniper smiled. Juniper and Ginevra are
from the same root.
Really? And do you have a passion for gin too? asked the bibulous one.
Well, I’m not supposed to drink alcohol at my age..
Neither am I! laughed Ginevra. It doesn’t stop me, though.
It was at that precise moment that a meeting of two rebellious minds
I have read The Gin Blog, Juniper confessed.
Oh, they are replacing that with The Gin Foundry in June,
Ginevra informed her.
Magda was worrying that they were obstructing the pavement.
She parked Ginevra outside Costamuchamoulah must-seen cafe.
Would you like a coffee while we finish the interview, Juniper?
Juniper looked faintly abashed. She hadn’t any cash on her.
Don’t worry- you can have a suspended coffee, Ginevra informed her.
It’s a scheme where people such as my neighbour, Sonia, pay for two
lattes and then only consume one. You could have the freebie that the local
vagrant usually claims.
But the people who own the cafe don’t mind ?
Not if he drinks it outside, Ginevra stated firmly.
Magda returned with three beverages.
Question Three then, persisted Juniper: is it difficult to maintain your style
on a pension?
Ginevra placed her lipstick-crescented cup on the street table. It will be nigh
on impossible if that-pardon my French!- Ian Duncan Smith creature
persuades us all to return our winter fuel allowance, she exploded.
Persuades-hah! At present, it just about keeps me in mascara…
..and gin, added Magda. It was astounding how much progress she
had recently made in aural comprehension.
The sun came out briefly and Ginevra replaced her spectacles with a pair
of retro Karen Walker Eyewear sunglasses.
And what would you say is the colour of these cool shades? continued Juniper.
Well, they are on the same tone continuum as Prince Philip’s black eye,
I’d say, Ginevra reflected.
Damson, Juniper scribbled.
Yes, the over-fifties, living relics though they were, certainly knew how to
put things together, she considered. All except Madonna, who should know
better than to dress in competition with her daughter, Lourdes, Juniper
She addressed Magda suddenly: Do you know the idiom about mutton and
We do idioms next week, Magda said gravely.
Okay. Thanks, guys, Juniper said, preparing to put her camera back
into its case.
Suddenly the local mendicant appeared, no doubt seeking his fix of caffeine.
Juniper beat a hasty retreat.
There was no decrying it, though. His flak jacket was really cool. She took
a surreptitious shot of his back view as he entered the cafe. He could really
carry off Grunge. She supposed it was a lifestyle choice.