Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Now here's a woman I'd like to go shopping with

Philippa Gregory, author of The Other Boleyn Girl

Do you use shopping as a distraction?

Oh yes. I think writers use any kind of distraction possible.

Tell us your favourite shopping memory.

Wedding-dress shopping with my daughter. I'm a rather unwilling shopper, so she had to tell me where we were going for lunch to keep my spirits up. But it was a wonderful experience. I cried when I saw her in one of the dresses and she decided that had to be the one.

What is the best thing you've ever bought?

My trusty suitcase recently gave up on me and I got a new one from Louis Vuitton. I won't say the price, because it was more expensive than the clothes that go in it, but every time I see it I go "Ahhhh".

And the worst thing?

I got overexcited in the 80s, along with the rest of the country, and bought a patchwork velvet skirt with a jagged hem. I thought I looked like the cat's whiskers in it, until one day I saw myself in the mirror. I never wore it again.

Do you have any shopping tips?

If you buy something that costs £1,000 and wear it once, that's what it will have cost. If you wear it a hundred times, it works out at £10 per wear. That's a bargain.

Have you ever felt guilty about something you have bought?

I do like to fly first class. I used to feel bad about the money; now it's the environment. When you're on expenses, you get a taste for a lifestyle and then, tragically, it's very hard to go back.

What can't you get through the week without?

Clarins moisturiser. That's compulsory. And Cadbury's Fruit & Nut. I eat it in the evenings with a glass of wine. I get my five a day that way.