Stories from 1996. Chapter 25. A Britpop Journal.

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20th August 1996

Shopped ’til we dropped in Liverpool.

I love Liverpool for shopping. Myself and Maisie have made an annual trip there every year since our early teens. When you’ve been brought up in a sleepy North Walian seaside town Liverpool is the Bustling Metropolis. The city of cool. Everything was bigger, the shops, the fashion, the accent, the music. The Beatles and Richard and Judy.

The excitement of the bus journey from Bangor, two teenage girls ready to devour the fabness of the city.  We would return home with a bit more of an edge every time. Even now, having lived in Cardiff for nearly 4 years, Liverpool has a different kind of vibe. Whatever it is we love Liverpool.

Erin was beside herself on the train over this morning, going to the birthplace of The Beatles. We had promised her a visit to The Beatles Story and we had all synchronised Revolver on our CD players. Myself and Maisie, on the other hand, were more excited about Quiggins. This shop was like no other and was the main reason for our annual pilgrimage to Liverpool since being young. From the early visits to buy Pillar Box Red Hair Dye and a shirt covered in skulls (me in my Heavy Metal phase), or a tasselled tie dye skirt with mirrors and joss sticks (Maisie in her hippy phase), through the Levellers’ years of tapestry dungarees (shamefully me) and baker boy hats (Maisie) this fabulous emporium allowed us to fulfill our most ridiculous fashion faux pas.

Quiggins is like the Narnia of fashion, once up those steps, enveloped in that smell who knows what delights will be found. Myself and Maisie took it all in, every crazy nook and cranny, from early 80s Goth to WW2 gasmasks to Iron Maiden bath towels. The only respite was a short lunch of cheese and pickle toasties in the cafe upstairs, whilst giggling over a ‘Prize Mullet’ on some poor unfortunate Van Halen throwback. We were in our element and ignored Erin’s bored sighs of “Its just a thrift shop.”

After a few more essential purchases of joss sticks (Maisie just couldn’t shake her hippy habit), a Pocahontas male doll called Kokum (mine, I now have my own pocket sized Antony Keidis doll only marginally smaller than the real thing),we stumbled across ‘Body Piercing by Jay’. I’m not sure whether it was the eye watering photos of a variety of pierced body parts or the welcoming sound of Sepultura coming from the ‘studio’ but, I could not resist.

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Jay had such a thick Liverpudlian accent that I found it near impossible to follow his instructions which resulted in him becoming quite cross. I don’t think I have felt quite that intimidated in my whole life, a 6 foot scary Scouser with a tattooed head bearing down on me with a piercing device. Maisie thought I was going to faint when I exited the clinic, I was paler than the Goth Stall trader downstairs but, am now the proud owner of a brand new shiny belly button ring.

A fantastic day was had by all, including the underwhelmed Erin who regained her shopping mojo at Topshop and Miss Selfridge. Once again Liverpool you have not let us down.

Quiggins you are still the best even after all these years and I still can’t get your smell our of my nose.

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