The Red Dress

This story isn’t very pleasant, so please be warned.


We’ve never had much money.  Put it this way, I come from the sort of family where we don’t buy cream. Mum uses a syringe to syphon off the ‘top of the milk’ to drizzle over puddings, and it’s strictly doled out to make sure nobody has more than anybody else – even Dad.

We spend a lot of time at jumble sales, helping out as well as buying. Anyone who knows anything about jumbles will know that if you help set up the trestles, pile up the clothes, toys and bric-a-brac, sort out the tea urn and custard creams, you get first pick before the crowds surge through the doors. It’s amazing what people chuck out. We get some pretty good stuff, but not knickers though. Mum draws the line at underwear.

Anyway, that’s where my dress comes in. I see it, shoved under an old dressing gown, right before they open the doors and the old biddies elbow their way in. A bright red sundress, hardly worn. Mine. It’s cotton, broderie anglaise Mum calls it, and fitted at the bust and waist. Since I’m finally getting boobs and hips, I will definitely look grown up in it. Best of all, it’s short, way above my knees, and it makes Mum’s eyebrows rise in that way that means she’s really not happy, but won’t say why. It’s perfect. Continue reading “The Red Dress”