Wednesday 18 May 2011

'Brooching' the subject

A Sunday or two ago, I was out for brunch mulling over a hilarious extra magazine that came with the FT Weekend: How to spend it. There were pages and pages dedicated to the very finer things in life. I saw beautiful orange dresses for £5000; incredible, unusable vases for a mere £1000, but the page that really got my attention was the one on precious stones and brooches.

I stared at the pictures: butterflies and flowers made up of tiny diamonds, rubies and emeralds, held together by fine strands of metal, shaped perfectly. If I wanted one of those brooches, I could expect to pay £3000. My shock was not that the people who should read How to spend it have so much pocket change for brooches, it was that brooches were featured in the first place.

Brooches. Who wears them?

I even had to look up how to spell the word to write this blog.

A couple of days after the shocking brooch-in-magazine-episode, I was walking to work after my early morning swim. Tea in hand, I got off the train at Hammersmith and whiled my way round the church to the river and our offices. At one straight section of road, a woman was walking towards me and the previous weekend's shock returned: she was wearing a brooch.

I couldn't, in a sense, believe my luck. I had spent twenty years without thinking, seeing, contemplating the use of brooches and here was a lady (let's say around my mum's age), at 8 o'clock in the morning, dolled up and brooched up. It was a lizard, her brooch, and going on Sunday's experience, I'd say it didn't cost around £3000. Still, it sparkled; it looked like a gleaming lizard on her lapel. It was serious brooching.

What occurs to people to wear brooches: trees and petals and animals? Exactly how does it compliment an outfit? I imagine if you're going to a fancy dress party as the ninja rat teacher from the Ninja Turtles, you might want to give them a shout. Of perhaps if you were at the launch for a new Iguana beer. But just generally? I don't get it.

So, now I am on the look out for brooches. I need to find more of them. I need to find a person to whom I can 'brooch' the subject:

"Why do you have an amethyst fish on your jacket?"

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