I received this email from tv producer Angela Wallis who has given her permission for me to reproduce it:
I am a TV producer and while researching a programme about recession chic I came across your article in this Saturdays Guardian Magazine and from there I found an extract of your book The Thoughtful Dresser.
I was struck by the description of shopping with your mother, and how while shopping her true self reappeared. I too was raised by a Jewish mother in Manchester and the similarities to my experiences of shopping with her were uncanny. My mother always planned her shopping expeditions as a day out, a thing you did even when you did not need to buy a thing, often involving an elegant lunch stop at Kendal’s or the Kardoma Cafe. To this day I still see shopping in a similar way and have indulged in its delights for all my adult life. Having read the extract of your book I feel like an addict who has been released from her shame, a feeling experienced all the more when my more intellectual friends who would never dream of coming shopping with me had no problem encouraging me to visit art galleries, museums and even worse, films with subtitles. They would treat my at oneness with department stores with a wry smile that would make me feel like the shallow nueveax rich Gucci socialists persona I tended to adopt in their company. Now I can claim that a joy of shopping and of spending time among beautiful things is in itself a higher activity than simple consumerism.