Monday, April 14, 2008

Bone China

Sewing was something Savitha could do. Often during those Cambridge Certificate years sewing had been her recreation, her right arm occasionally turning the wheel of her Singer, her foot pedalling furiously. It was what she did when she had a lot to think about, and, without a doubt, she had much on her mind at the moment. Changing into her brightest red-and-orange sari, she left the house, caught a bus (so like the ones back home, but smarter, newer), and headed in the direction of Brixton. The bus drove past the arcade and a crockery stall caught her eye. It was piled high with a wonderful array of blue and white, willow-patterned china. Another stall flashed by. It had trousers hanging up all over it, flapping in the breeze. Savitha wondered curiously what it would be like to wear a pair. The bus passed under the bridge. The stalls here were run by black people. Savitha watched them curiously. They sold a confusion of interesting vegetables. A streak of red, a splash of dark green leaves, the sun-baked saffron insides of fruit, all flashed past her, jostling happily alongside stalls of apples piled high, and tight pale cabbages.

Roma Tearne in ‘Bone China’ (www.harpercollins.co.uk)

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