15 February 2010

I am SO finished

Hello my darlings! Whilst last February seems to have been alight with frenzied productivity here on the blog, I've just noticed that we are already halfway through February twentyten and not a peep has been published. Accept my apologies for this annoying inconvenience and let me just announce that I am disrobed of this God-awful winter mist and ready to chatter away into spring. I want to take you back to this and let you know what happened next.  Oh, don't worry it all weaves back into the whole Style-thing, I'm not about to force you down my own little Memory Lane just for the hell of it. Consistency is paramount.
Well, after the beaches of southern California (still the best and please take me back there NOW) I decided that No, this was not quite the 'feel' I was after. Instead I pursued my true love. London. I left all my beloved loved ones behind and boldly boarded that plane headed for Gatwick and a promise of exciting Londoney things. A juxtaposition of two locations more opposed would probably not have been possible. From the laid back, barefoot, bareskinned sandy, sunny beach-life, I arrived smack-bang in the middle of Barbour-clad-hooray-Henry-Fulham (Parsons Green, guys - need I say more?) and was duly kitted out in Laura Ashley's latest pinafore (I know! the words "impossible" and "OMFG" are dancing round my dreamy head too right now). And guess where I was going to start my post-California-High-School-of-Distinction education? No, not the London School of Economics, nor Kings College or the Royal College of Art; heck! not even RADA! (chip on my shoulder, moi?) No dears, I was teetering off to Knightsbridge's Brompton Road, to Lucie Clayton Secretarial College (Finishing School to you and me) to be groomed and finished well and proper.  The only thing that keeps me from NOT EVER MENTIONING THIS IN PUBLIC is the fact that Joanna-goddess-Lumley was a pupil too. Admittedly she took the modelling course that was oh-so popular throughout the 60's and 70's whereas I decided to go for the sensible, emancipated 80's option and chose Shorthand (I am soooo good at it, yet it serves me not a jot) and Typing (I am soooo fast at it) and, I hope you're ready for this, Flower Arranging (you'd never know), Grooming (I insist that Mum not Lucie taught me everything I need to know here) and Law (consisting of a very dishy, only just graduated London lawyer popping round to have his ego massaged by a room full of 19 year olds). People, the stories I could tell on this unbelievable excuse of an "education" and how I could make your eyes water by revealing the fees!
I suppose the only real skill that I can boast having gained over, I dunno, YOU LOT, is that I know exactly how to get IN and OUT of a sports car in a mini skirt, without flashing my knickers. A very useful skill if you're a wannabe posh bird, say from Cheshire, pursuing a more 'lucrative' life in London. Let me also add that at the school there was in fact, in the middle of the grand classroom, the ludicrous wire frame of a sports car into which we had to gracefully climb in, and out of. Oh, I just don't have time for this. I like to laugh about it now because finally I can (!) and I realise that it really was a very special place once (not in my time unfortunately). And of course in spite of it all I met one of my best friends there. Sarah A. She was my saving grace and got me through it with so much laughter and so many jokes that live on to this day. We both knew it was a stop-over to bigger and better things. Incidentally we both ended up in fashion (she went to Rifat Ozbek and I went to Katharine Hamnett) and that was seriously cool. So, a worthwhile educational experience nonetheless? It probably was. At Lucie Clayton's we were all part of something unique which just about cut the mustard, then. Now it would most certainly be laughed off the edge of a cliff and of course it's not called "Lucie Clayton" but has been relaunched as the imposing and politically correct "Quest" with not a flower or young lawyer in sight. It would interest me to know how much really has changed since my time there.
So, back to Joanna Lumley. Would she have ended up as Purdy or Pats WITHOUT the Lucie Clayton connection?


Anonymous said...

NOW lady....YOU can write. Luv it Steffi. You MUST keep going! Cindy

Hey and I will always remember saying good-bye to you at the airport and your expressions. It cut deep to say good-bye, and now I get to read read read all your news and still see so many expressions.

dutchwomanabroad said...

love to hear about the life poeple had before i got to know them. your story kills me. i went to a scretary school, but it was a bit more dull. no sportscar to get in and out of! just typing, shorthand, languages, ecc. the good thing was the location, near the 'fred', the posh street of the hague, great little coffee shops. love to hear more about your days in the past.

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