Jun. 7th, 2009

rosiphelee: (Miffed horse)
Imagine, for a moment, that it is 1993. Our scene is the centre of Reading, a large town in the Thames Valley. The town centre has been partially pedestrianised, but redevelopment has not yet started in earnest. The shops along the central road, Broad Street, are all chain shops - shoes, clothes, two branches of Boots the Chemist, a WHSmith. Just off Broad Street, things are tattier, awaiting the start of work on the new shopping centre which finally opened in 1999. It is mid-afternoon, not yet three, and the first wave of school children are making their way back to the bus stops and the station. This first wave is all female, from the local grammar school which has a compressed timetable and so finishes early. They're trailing into town, some straight along the road to head up to the station, others peeling off to take a shortcut over the canal and up the sidestreets towards their bus stops. They stop at shops along the way to buy sweets and magazines. A few of the older girls are digging cigarettes out of their bags, planning to hang around and wait for the boys' school to finish.

In amongst this crowd are two very earnest twelve year girls. Their rucksacks are stuffed with books and homework, heavy enough that they have both shoulder straps on, rather than carrying them casually over one shoulder. One of these girls is very neat, the other scruffy, but both have skirts which fall down past their knees (a terrible fashion faux pas - normal girls asked their mums to take their hems up as many inches as they could get away with).

There is a point in here, I promise )

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rosiphelee

February 2012

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