A good spy never gets caught.
Yet I will be forever caught up in Harriet the Spy. And unashamedly so. She well and truly captured my imagination and entrapped my fancy with her net of alluring espionage.
She is my ultimate heroine (and I realise this seems to change on an almost daily basis, but Harriet has remained a stalwart in the enduring coolness department - she also has nostalgia on her side) and I want to be her.
She is, first and foremost, a spy. And a writer, an observer, a wit, a freethinker. But, and this is the crucial point, she is a child. The best aspect of all.
I love, love, love the Harriet the Spy film. I love the amazing garden Golly takes Harriet, Sport and Janey to, with its junk sculptures and clouds of soapy bubbles. I love the umbrellas that Harriet and Golly are holding when sitting out in the rain just before Golly's tearjerking departure - large and red for Golly, small and flowery for Harriet. I love the boy with the purple socks. I love the dancing vegetables in the winter pageant (Harriet is an onion), complete with the silver centrepiece of a solo gravy boat ballet. I love Harriet's fashion - her iconic yellow anorak, all the block primary colours she wears, the stripes of her t-shirts and the bright red of her trousers, that her denim warrents the epithet 'funky', and how she is an inspiration for Tomboy Chic - I want access to her wardrobe. I love how Harriet, Sport and Janey roll around like maniacs on the steps outside their school, laughing and shrieking like hyenas with unrestrained mirth. I love how Harriet has a tomato (to-may-toe) sandwich every single day, squelching the tomato and mayonnaise between white bread each morning (to the extent that I went through a phase of doing the exact same thing back in the day - slurpy and delicious!).
I love how childhood is presented. I love that they are real children: curious, creative, confused, cruel and capable of friendship beyond any adult comprehension.
I love that the three friends draw felt-tip tattoos on the bottom of their bare feet and print them on each other's soles. I love this so much that I am getting a tattoo on my foot to mark my 21st birthday - still a child at heart! A child like Harriet.