Thursday, 11 August 2011
Each gate squeaks to remind us of the other hands that have pushed it.
Each pair of eyes that encounter me for the first time have memories shifting behind them, like sand under tides.'
from: 'Eve Green' by Susan Fletcher.
Whose hands did the perfect pale lilac gloves enfold?
The gloves were lying flat in amongst the jewellery of times past in a shop called, Memories Antiques. It felt strange to draw the thin, soft and cool
leather upon my own hands. Gloves are so personal somehow. Like watches they seem to embody something of the essence of a person. Who was she?
The stamp inside says, 'Made especially for Kendal Milne, Manchester, Real Kid, Made in Luxembourg, Washable'. They held no hint of perfume but only a slight musty aroma of age.
Kendal Milne the upmarket, exclusive and perhaps oldest department store in the world, once called the Harrods of Manchester until Harrods Group was taken over by House of Frazer in 1959. They dropped the name Kendals back then, but everyone local who shops in town always still calls it, 'Kendals'. I can remember being taken to lunch there by my Father and Grandmother, I must have been about six, but I clearly remember being so impressed by the extravagant tea-rooms, dressed with oriental rugs, palms and velvet-covered seats. There were waitresses in little black dresses with white frilly aprons and caps, silver cutlery and linen serviettes and even musicians discretely playing. Whilst overhead I'm sure I remember that the ceiling was all glass, a dome shape and totally enthralling.
Did 'she' sit there once long ago? Wearing her perfect hat and suit with her wonderful lilac kid gloves, escorted... by her Beau?