Friday, 9 April 2010

Take us to your reader

After watching the film about Truman Capote I decide to venture out and treat myself to his book, In Cold Blood. I stick on the brightest clothes in my wardrobe, which clash horribly, and paint my nails 'coral'. It's the sort of look that would get me thrown out of my office - I resemble a lady-of-the-night-by-day from the 1980s. It's probably a reaction from my first job in London, over in the tower in Canary Wharf, where the greasy bankers' pink ties were as colourful as it got.

I visit Ealing's Oxfam bookshop for the first time and instantly fall in love. There is a whole section devoted to UFOs, featuring dog-eared classics such as Did Spacemen Colonise The East? and Are Aliens Living On Earth?. Ella Fitzgerald is piped out of the speakers while a customer asks the assistant if she has 'any books on death?' 'What kind of thing?' the assistant says. 'Oh, anything to with death please.' Crackers.

I track down the book and then a quiet corner in the Red Lion's beer garden, near Ealing Studios, to read it (the sun is out, if only all days were like this!). But I lose my focus on the way home and find myself in Primark buying neon knickers I don't need and £1 sunglasses I don't suit. I am served by a girl called 'Happiness'. She does not smile. I imagine the pressure to live up to her name must be enormous.

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