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Mon, Jan 21st - 10:09PM

Shopping at USC

"Mum those shoes are on sale, let's have a look" My daughter Ashley, dragged me into USC shop on Buchanan street Glasgow. Ashley is 26 and is still excited at high top trainers...could be worse, she could be taking bath salts, running naked and attacking rough sleepers with a toffee hammer. 

 

 

 

Am not a big shopper, to be honest USC confused me, it was just heaps of clothes on racks so tightly packed I felt like I was lost in a denim jumble sale. The music blared and I felt like I was lost in a bright unfriendly disco.

 

 

 

 I even saw jeans that were destined to fit a man with bow legs as if he just leapt off a horse and of course my non fashion brain made me giggle at them. 'Who would buy them' I shouted over the music just as a young man bought them and glared at me.

 

 

 

Ashley went to the sports shoe bit, tried on a few trainers and liked the Adidas high tops, she handed me the one she tried and I went off to find out how to get the other shoe. I did not know how to pay for stuff in USC; I have never been to university or took the class that shows how to do that.

 

 

 

There are no signs, but why would there be...it's like a really hip party and am the old woman who comes in and asks them if they have any Donny Osmond on their big music player.

 

 

 

I spotted an achingly hip bored guy with lovely sideways combed and gelled hair in bow legged jeans (that looked lovely on) and he made brief enough eye contact to assure me he was staff. I held out the shoe, went onto explain "my daughter likes these can we try the other one....." He looked through me like I was already dead to him. I was going to say I had heard Nirvana but I don't think he was alive when they were alive and I had no other musical reference point to bring up, he grabbed the shoe and turned on his heel.

 

 

 

He was off...not a word of explanation about anything, just up the escalator leaving me stranded near a couple of young French guys who liked the looked of the bandy legged jeans. The staff guy (let me call him Todd, he looks like a Todd who is into skateboarding and ironic ukulele parties) anyway Todd is now off with the shoe- upstairs as if he is in search of a one legged Cinderella who was into sportswear, she was hiding upstairs, she was making Todd work for her affections.

 

 

 

"Shall I wait here? Are you coming back down? Where do I go?" were many of the questions I whispered as Todd vanished.

 

 

 

I wandered about the store wondering how to approach the fact I gave a man a shoe and he vanished without trace. Was I a hex?

 

 

 

Ashley turned up "mum, where are the shoes?" I replied "A teenager in skinny jeans took it and ran up stairs" we eventually realised that the best way to find out what happened to Todd and my shoe was to head to the counter...then I spotted Todd amongst the sweaters....that dirty bastard was seeing someone else...he was showing a Taylor Swift look-alike a burgundy hoodie, he was fingering the fabric...I never got one word from him. He was chatting and smiling. I got none of that. 

 

 

 

I headed down to the till, where a young angry/sad/unsure woman in a trendy top took ages to serve a man then eventually had to look at me. Her eyes were annoyed. "What?" she asked me. I wanted to tell her a story about the time I got a gynaecological smear and the doctor told me 'You have a surprisingly tight vagina for a woman who had a child' but I don't think that was what she was asking.

 

 

 

"Erm...I think we bought a shoe and we wanted the other one to try on" I was trying to say but she butted in "describe them" (as if I was lying and just wanted a chat with her happy face).

 

 

 

My daughter described high tops, Adidas logo, colour and size. The young woman must have had some exhaustive wasting illness as she sighed loudly and picked up the box and dropped it on the counter.

 

 

 

The whole experience in USC was weird, it wasn't like shopping, it was like a small but brief sexual affair that went wrong and ended in a rash with vows never to return or speak of it ever again...except for on here. Thanks USC for teaching me all about your trendy shop.

 

 

 

So thanks for reading, if you want follow me on twitter @JaneyGodley for updates.

 

 

 


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Tue, Jan 15th - 3:53PM

On a plane

You know how you think back to things and with hindsight you wonder why you didn't react differently? Looking back I should have punched the man in the tweed suit.....here's what happened.

 

 

 

Back in 1996 I was flying to London to see my pals and do some open spot comedy gigs. I was super excited and chatty and couldn't wait to get there, it wasn't often I got such freedom and the thought of being in London filled me with a rush of excitement. I was giddy.

 

 

 

I sat beside a middle aged old fashioned looking man possibly in his late 50s but he was dressed the way I think men in 1960s British movies dressed. You know all tweed, brogues and rainmac over the arm, he had everything except a hat but was Scottish. We got chatting and he explained he flew to London for business, I never said what I was doing, just 'going to see friends' and we were engaged in a good old natter.

 

 

 

"I am down every month, my friends and I go to Soho, we visit a woman's flat, it's near an ice cream cafe which does a good coffee as well....and we see a woman, she isn't like a prostitute but a woman who likes a drink and we bring her some good vodka and she would 'see' to us fella's who like a good time" he told me with a twinkle in his eye. He added "do you like to party, my friends would like you?"

 

 

 

I don't wear wedding rings and don't start conversations with 'my husband and I" as I am not a member of the Royal Household nor am I living in 1953. So as this chat had progressed it dawned on me he assumed I was single and was going to London for some high jinkery or partying of some sort...am not sure. Maybe he thought there was a time portal at arrivals and this was 1960 and I had a pad and needed a 'man to help pay the rent'....I don't know!

 

 

 

I faced him squarely on the seat and looked right into his eyes and said "No I don't drink and don't fancy fucking strange men in wool suits in some Soho bedsit, in fact that sounds a rapey nightmare to me" I smiled and fiddled with my Sony Walkman.

 

 

 

"Oh no don't get me wrong, we would make sure you had fun" he touched my arms reassuringly.

 

 

 

Me being me, so blasť about prostitution (who should judge?) and creepy old men hitting on me on aeroplanes, I laughed and said "no, you probably won't make sure I had fun, I have a 34 year old husband at home and his skin still fits him, why would I want to screw some old dirty toffs for vodka, mate I owned a pub for 15 years, I don't even drink, I don't want to fuck you, but can you tell me where the good ice cream shop is?"

 

 

 

We sat in silence for the rest of the journey and I wondered about the woman in the flat above the cafe who lets middle class men fuck her for vodka...that made me feel sad.

 

 

 

Years now I have been visiting Soho, it's my favourite place on the planet. I have performed there, I have done live TV news from there, I did my one woman play there...I adore the place, the bricks, the cobbled streets, the paparazzi on motorbikes chasing people with flash cameras and the screaming girls when they spot a pop star. I love the Ramen cafe, the bars, the Groucho Club; the belligerent Italians who serve you bitter coffee in tiny cups....

 

 

 

Yet still every old cafe I see I stare above it and search the windows and look for the poor woman behind the dirty windows....and wonder if she is ok now.

 

 

 

So thanks for reading, if you want follow me on twitter @JaneyGodley for updates.

 

 




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