Next morning, bright crisp and early, Charlotte was up and about – doing what, god only knows. But noisy. Yes, noisy.
Bloody working French women, you know?
French women are actually good at working. They take long showers, mess around in front of mirrors, but then somehow they also get the coffee ready in big bowls with little pastries set beside them, and then suddenly elle est voilà. A cliché but still true. And they go to work.
Me, I can’t do that. I’m strictly on Florentine time. Take all day to get dressed, you see – though not like those Pitti Uomo dandies, of course. I tend to dress to disappear not to stand out. Even then wandering around the Firenze deco shops and stuff you can get ‘attention’ from the millionairess gallery or boutique shop owners...
I once was just walking down an aisle of a certain writing and designer odds-and-ends shop in Florence, minding my own business and I clearly noticed a svelte, pants-suited woman of a certain age sidle up near enough by to flick this art deco, what was it, plastic sieve I believe, right across by ass, and then I caught a snippet of comment from her female employee to the effect that she had deliberately planned it even though she murmured ‘Mi scusi’ in your typical weirdo Florentine, not-Roman, accent. So I said to the assistant ‘it must be her sifting technique.’
Don’t know where I got the presence of mind from to quip that.
My friend-in-all-things-ET-land, the rather famous and definitely not hidden, Bridget Nielsen, was recently up there herself in fact -, in Florence, wandering around in the Accademia, looking at the art that appeared to show rays of light from airborne figures, piercing down into various depicted figures of, probably religious, history.
Yes. Florentine time.
Espresso coffee but no need to be express in time about anything else.
And that’s me to a tee.
So it was way already mid-morning when I started moving around in a terry cotton robe to rob Charlotte of her plunger coffee or drip coffee – whatever she would be having, hot and ready to hand right there beside her...
I could hear her conversation on the phone to, evidently, some guy who had already responded to her advertisements. Where she was running them I did not have a clue exactly: social media or ordinary newspapers, I didn’t know.
Obviously was working though.
“But there is just one condition I must advise you of. This is a stipulation by our fashion designer himself. For such an esteemed individual I hope you will allow his eccentricities.”
Oh? Now what was this? And who even, was this ‘esteemed fashion designer,’ I wondered.
I found the dripolator coffee. And a gorgeous ceramic cup with its tiny gold edging and bands around its dark blue fired exterior.
“The lady must wear a veiled hat or scarf that she can cover her head with. All of the ladies who attend will be attired like this. No slacks, no pants, or short skirts. Veiled like Marlene Dietrich or Audrey Hepburn, but no slacks like Katherine Hepburn.”
I found even myself raising an eyebrow.