Jonathan Player took this photo, in our (very orange) living room. I totally lucked out that he caught a moment with such strong sunlight and with my head positioned just so. I don’t usually spend my days looking serene and luminous. I’m *thrilled* to have it, but I fear that if I ever tried to use this pic on the flap of my book as impromptu identification, no one will believe it’s me.
I also did a shoot (with Helen Bartlett) on the grounds of one of the colleges where the book is set. I made a lousy mess of my hair that morning. I tried hot rollers when my hair was still damp and…well, there are strange cowlicks that emphasize my gray. I also made the mistake of failing to employ a “shaping garment” underneath my sweater. The resulting lumps put a few otherwise good pictures out of the running. These look a lot more like “me.”
(In that last one I look totally weird but that cool mask in the ivy is arresting!)
In both of these shoots I wore sweaters I bought at the new John Lewis store in downtown Cambridge. (You don’t see much of the sweater in the first pic, but I think its bright blue really adds something.) I’d been in a complete panic over what to wear, and they have an amazing free service where an employee with taste will take an appointment to shop with you. She didn’t pressure me at all, combined my preferences with her experience, and set me up with this sweater in three flattering colors, to go with trousers and a coat I already had. Her name is Dolly and she’s terrific at her job. (Thanks, Dolly!!)
You know something I love about living in the UK? They don’t make fat people shop in fat stores. As much as I like shopping in Lane Bryant back home (they really do have nice clothes), I really would rather have gone into the Limited or Express (which are all owned by the same company as Lane Bryant) and just seen the same clothes in ALL sizes. Why is that so hard?
Here, I can shop in all the big department stores, and not in a plus-sized section, either. I can just walk up to a rack, and they go up to my size. Rule Britannia!