This post was originally written on 15th February, 2009.
My favourite scarf is long, long enough to be an afternoon blanket for two babies, and the remaining length draping all over the floor.
I only wear it when I care whom I am spending time with. Of course also when it is suitably cold.
I bought it in a second-hand shop in Oxford when I was studying there in the Summer of 2000. Yesterday I brought it back to its foster home for a short visit. It saw a few of its less attractive friends still hanging around, looking available.
J and I were walking lexisurely (and aimlessly) around Oxford, stopping every now and then for a coffee or a drink. He had hoped that I would show him the classrooms I studied in; and the places, shops and pubs I went to as a teenager. The best I could do was to keep saying, ‘hmmm this looks really familiar!’ and ‘hey I think I was here before!’
But it was with certainty when I saw this shop (pictured below) that I knew it was the shop. The partner urged me to take a picture this time, so I will always remember. We opened the door and the smell was distinctively Summer 2000.
Have you been?
Many things are unchanged: the postcard racks are still pushed to the same wall, the candy and chocolate bar close to the door, the second-hand fancy costumes taking up most of the space at the back of the shop. Big and small earrings, rings and bracelets covering the table.
Touching these small things, I felt that I was back to Oxford again, after all these years.
Updated on Wednesday 15 April 2009 at 11:40am: The extremely awesome Mike told me that the students’ hall we stayed in was called Warnock House - I’ll remember when I go to Oxford again and visit there!