Polka Dot Dreams extract
Can an old fashioned girl find love on today's vintage clothes and rockabilly scene? Find out in Polka Dot Dreams, which starts like this...
Natty trotted across the station concourse as quickly as she could, considering that a) she was wearing vintage three inch stilettos finished in red velvet with a white polka-dot toe; b) she was wearing a tight-at-the-knee, genuine 1950s pencil dress in violet satin beneath a swirling leopard skin coat trimmed with chocolate brown fur; and c) she was carrying a trunk-size suitcase in one hand and a guitar case in the other.
To the other commuters criss-crossing the cavernous and echoing London terminus, Natty looked like she’d fallen through a time-warp from the golden age of Hollywood, or perhaps wandered in from a musical on the West End stage.
Her ruby red hair was rolled up into a bulbous pompadour at the front and swept back at the sides to bounce in three rows of carefully rolled curls on her slim, fur-trimmed shoulders. The fiery hue of her locks was complemented by an orange orchid pinned above her left ear. Her smoke-coloured stockings were seamed with a black pinstripe and her make-up was red-carpet-ready, from her delicately plucked and pencilled eyebrows and long false eyelashes to the precision-applied beauty spot to the top left of her scarlet cupid’s bow lips.
Ordinarily, Natty would have relished the attention of all the heads turning her way in admiration or curiosity. She loved bringing a bit of colour and retro glamour into the drab reality of everyday life. The smiles that tended to greet her wherever she went made her daily efforts with powder, pins, brushes and tongs worthwhile.
Amid the bustling travellers, distorted train announcements and flying pigeons of the railway station, she might, on another occasion, have found time to enjoy a little fantasy that she was starring in the final dramatic scene of a classic black and white weepie - a spurned and tragic heroine fleeing a doomed romance.
She might even have imagined herself to be a beautiful murderess on the lam with a two dollar pistol and a string of stolen pearls in her handbag.
But for once Natty had no time to dwell on her plight. She really was a girl on the run (albeit without the gun or the pearls). And as her scarlet heels click-clacked on the tarmac, only one thought went through Natty’s mind: she better not miss that train!