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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.

Carmen Dell'Orefice, Red Dress Collection 2005.jpg

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

took place.

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?

asked Ginevra.

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.

Iain Duncan Smith Nightingale 1.JPG

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


Upper body of a middle-aged blond woman. Her hair is parted in the middle and falls in waves to her shoulder. She is wearing a loose dress with black and brown prints on it. A locket is hung around her neck, coming up to her breasts. She is looking to the right and smiling.

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.