In exchange for a full day of writing tomorrow, I have spent today helping my husband to sort out and tidy the loft. Much of this has involved retrieving clothes that we had bunged up there years ago, trying them on, laughing hysterically at what we used to wear in public, and then sorting them into three piles: keep (very small pile), charity shop, and bin.
One item we came across was the most gorgeous long evening dress – mine, not his. It is vintage, red satin, sleeveless, full length, with a sort of fish-tail at the back and a matching red satin long coat. I cannot remember buying it, although I do sporadically collect 1950s dresses, and it fits perfectly. But when on earth would I wear it? It’s not really practical for financial training, fiction writing, sitting in court or cycling around Cambridge, which is how I spend my waking hours these days. My hand hovered sadly over the charity shop pile. “Wait!” said my husband suddenly. “You’ll want something fancy to wear when you win the Booker Prize.” “True,” I said, “but where will I keep it until then?” “Back in the loft, in a special clothes bag, and when you hear you’re on the short-list, we’ll get it down and it can air.” And that, dear reader, is why I married him.