Every Sunday my Mum and Nan go to Tesco and have a coffee at the in-store Costa. It’s a little ritual for them – it’s when they catch up on how each other are doing, what’s going on in their lives and they spend some quality time together. They also do their shopping, and at least every couple of weeks I’m sent a photograph of an item of clothing or homeware they think I might like with my grandmother holding the skirt/top/frying pan for scale. It’s sweet, and I think they enjoy finding things for me more than they do for themselves – we all seem to find it easier to spend money on others than on ourselves. Several months ago they sent me a picture of my Nan holding a yellowy-green pleated skirt. She was holding it up to her neck as she’s pretty tiny, but from this I deduced that it was a midi skirt of the longer variety. It was hard to make out the colour under the fluorescent lights, but I’m up for any shade of green so I said yes.
Then they realised that the only one in my side had a bloody great rip in it. They were so incensed that they had found me something I actually liked but weren’t able to get it for me that it became their personal mission. They went to every Tesco for miles around but couldn’t find one – they were seemingly very low in stock and not likely to be getting any more in. They spoke to store managers, dug through sales aisles and rummaged through racks of skirts to looking for it to no avail. I had predictably forgotten all about it, never having even seen it in person, but clearly for them it was a serious undertaking.
Many months later, the two of them went on a cruise around the British Isles which involved a great deal of gin, many hilarious videos sent to my brother and I, and apparently checking every Tesco they could find. Finally, in Kirkwall in the Orkneys they struck gold. I was sent another photo of my Nan holding the skirt up to her neck (shortly followed by a video of two very elderly gentlemen having a furious argument in one of the ship’s tenders) and they packed it and brought it home, very pleased with themselves.
I met up with my Mum on Saturday, and we had a lovely afternoon involving Wagamama and shopping, and she brought with her the skirt and the usual post that I really should get redirected. I absolutely love it. I can’t quite believe how much effort went into finding this skirt, and the little story behind it makes it even more special to me, but I honestly just really love it for itself. It’s a wonderful shade of chartreuse, that gorgeous yellowy-green colour that sounds like it should be dark red from the name. It’s named for a liqueur and was popular in the 1920s, making a comeback in the 80s and a little in 2016. Chartreuse is one of those funny in-between colours and I’m into it. As to what to wear it with? I’m not really sure. I went for a simple black pairing for this outfit, but I think it could look great with pink, and despite my boyfriend’s assertion that “blue should not be anywhere near that skirt” I think it could look great with a deep navy or royal blue. The colour is not one I think necessarily suits me, but like with all colours that don’t technically “suit” me, such as pink, my solution is to just wear it away from my face.
I’m chuffed to bit with this skirt, but it’s the story behind it that makes me smile the most. I know that I’ll treasure it for years and will always remind me of my Mum and Nan on a quest for a chartreuse skirt.