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Shirley Mitchell

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Member Since: Jul, 2007

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With Men for Pieces
by Shirley Mitchell   

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Books by Shirley Mitchell
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Category: 

Literary Fiction

ISBN-10:  1389024718



A Young teacher goes to Paris for the weekend. she is spotted by a fashion designer and groomed as a model;

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Excerpt

I’d been languishing in London for a year. I was living at the top of a tall house in Earl’s Court, trying to pluck up the courage to give in my notice at the school in Highgate where I was paid a measly sum to endure the sulking of a class full of spoiled brats. The other teachers were all wierdos, and the balding headmaster made a pass at me every morning, somewhere on the premises. His wife was a part-time secretary in his office, so he had to behave in the afternoons.

Beryl’s wedding broke the monotony. I was bridesmaid. It started off respectably enough. The religious part was at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. In the vestry, we signed the register with a pen once handled by the Queen Mother. Beryl and Bryn emerged into Trafalgar Square to be photographed for the Evening News under an archway of guitarists, instruments aloft. Bryn was leader of a skiffle group. I still have his card, black script on yellow. The guests then scrambled into a motley collection of decrepit old cars and taxis. Some rowdy gate-crashers laid claim to my taxi, so I had to walk to the reception up Charing Cross Road. I didn’t mind in the least as the guitarists insisted on accompanying me, playing all the way. I sometimes manage to hide my crippling shyness under a front of sheer exhibitionism—this was one of those occasions.

The festivities lasted four days, but the middle part remains a blur in my memory. I do recall arriving—musically—at Bunjie’s Coffee Bar just as Beryl was cutting the cake. Then, while her thousand or so aunts from Bromley were stuffing it into their mouths between scandalised comments on the mixed bunch of artists and criminals who were there for the groom (Bryn’s family remained a solid mystery with dark overtones), the bride and I retired to change.




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