Everyone knows you need a sexy bedroom. So Laure is off to the sales. There are acres of bedlinens on offer, she realises as soon as she hits John Lewis, but which is going to have the right effect?
Laure is one of the characters from my new novel One Night at the Jacaranda. She doesn’t normally have trouble making up her mind, but this purchase, she senses, could be crucial.
Back in her student days, it never mattered what the bedroom looked like. While she’d hankered after a nice set from BHS, her mother packed her off to uni with some hand-me-downs embellished with touches of Tesco Value. So in her first term Laure’s bed had looked like this:
One orange bedspread. God knows which part of the attic it had been in.
Navy print sheets that were fitted but didn’t quite fit (‘But they’re very nice,’ said her mother. ‘They’re Laura Ashley, darling.’)
A couple of flowery pink pillow-cases because the rest of the navy ones couldn’t be found anywhere.
One weird turquoise duvet cover that should have gone crying and screaming all the way back to the 1970s.
The effect was so loud Laure couldn’t sleep. Good job that wasn’t what she’d gone to uni for.
So she’d had turned the lights low and painted the walls dark. Even lighting reminiscent of Luton bus depot couldn’t dampen youthful enthusiasm. In those days, a pretty undergrad needed romantic lighting and designer bedlinen as much as she needed expensive perfume, which was not at all. Laure could have dabbed cat’s piss behind her ears and still pulled.
These days it was another story. She could afford anything but couldn’t get it right. The past few years had seen a succession of different sheets and covers. There’s been more variety in her bedlinen than in her men.
Today there was a lovely pinky-purple set on display. Too girly, maybe?
The patriotic look probably appealed to lots of men. She wasn’t sure it was for her. Too masculine. With possible political overtones.
She moved on. There was always the innocent girl-next-door look like this one, the snag being that she didn’t fancy her neighbour.
Perhaps she should she go for all-white bedding?
She walked around the display, twice. Sat on the edge. Languidly removed a shoe, then put it back on again when a couple stopped to stare at her.
The coordinated threads did look rather splendid, with a calm sophisticated presence that would reflect her good taste. Yes, that was the one. Delighted with her choice, she filled the shopping basket: sheets, duvet cover, pillow cases, a throw and handful of small cushions.
Only when she exited with her bags into the cold air of Oxford Street and the hordes of other shoppers did she wonder: what if the tea got spilled?