|Expulsion from Number 8 Eden Close|
With typical middle-class angst, I realised too late that I was committing a social faux pas ... I had a Cath Kidston bag slung over my shoulder. (The real-life Mrs Perry - the lady with bobbed hair above - has one of those fancypants handbags that demands a chair of its own.)
But it was alright. I sighed with relief when I realised that most of the other women in the gallery were carrying M&S plastic carrier bags. I was with my own tribe.
How reassuring to know that the CK bag in Perry's Annunciation was the very same print as my ironing board cover at home. And there was my favourite Penguin Books mug ... well, mine is Great Expectations but the one in the tapestry is Knowing Laughter by Ewan Nonyew.
(I have been pondering on the amount of Cath Kidston in my life. Nearly every woman I know owns a CK bag and an ironing board cover. Even the ones like me who don't do any ironing. All I can say is, thank God, we didn't all go in for tattoos. Or spray tans.)
I'm so far from being a Grayson Perry fan that I didn't even go to the British Museum exhibition. But then so many other tribe members told me that I'd missed out, and there's nothing that distresses a fully signed-up member of the Penguin Mugs class more than missing out ...
He certainly got people talking to each other at the exhibition. (Great views over London once you get your breath back after climbing those stairs. Free to get in. But good grief, £15 for a packet of postcards ... hasn't he heard of the squeezed-middles?)
He even made me think I should take a more sympathetic view of my elderly aunt's collection of Lladró figurines. She talks wistfully about where it will go after she dies. I tell her it should go to someone who will appreciate it. And hope she gets the message that this someone is not me.
(On the other hand, when I go, feel free to chuck the Cath Kidston in a black bin bag.)
On the way back to the tube, it tickled to me to walk down Micawber Street, past some very Micawberish houses. Especially as I had a copy of David Copperfield in my commodious CK bag.
Then I stopped for a mug of tea in a famous greasy-spoon caff.
And noticed these dining rooms where you could buy a three-course meal for fourpence ha'penny in 1898 and 100 waitresses served 12,000 meals a day.