13 June 2010
Little House on the Prairie is a charm. A charm of my little girl days, that is all plaits and pinafores and bedrooms in barns and perfect fathers and Sunday afternoons in a half-remembered memory montage.
It is a mix of Laura Ashley, the Amish, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. I wore my Little-House-on-the-Prairie-dress, aged seven, at my parents' wedding. With a quilted floral Alice band.
Parents that spoil me rotten fifteen years later. Yummy meals (now sincerely enjoyed, and not before time) and high-tops and Nancy Mitford and nostalgia and invitations to my best friends and studying fine and fading Renaissance drawings and saving me from lovely-but-scary camp dressers at Hobbs who try to insist on red dresses that just aren't me. London travel and Robin Hood/Princess Bride/Neil Gaiman geek chat and bringing me Barbara Trapido and impromptu semi-embraces on the tube and indulging my fascination with Gordon Square worms. Being the perfect antidote to staring out the window on the number 4 at midnight, with an adoring young couple sitting behind me, listening to a mix tape over and over as it takes me both years and seconds to get home... They spoil me, and I try not to love it.
Then, on the Sunday afternoon, I track down the best chocolate ice cream London has to offer, with The Observer in my hand and a fellow intrepid ice cream seeker by my side. The scoop is studded with ginger and topped with a thick layer of hardening chocolate sauce, eaten with a wooden spoon, melting into a space that is also filled with a new floral romper suit. A romper suit with a Little House on the Prairie lace bib detail and puff sleeves. I wear remnants of the past on my sleeve, around my neck, and on my chest.