apology oysters, havaianas, and eyes the colour of sky

I've been wanting to post these photos for ages, and since this week is the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival (it ends Saturday), it's time.

Zaira was hanging out, working in a shop right on the sea, talking with her friend with a vintage clothing stand next door. I heard them talk about her sneakers, from Primark for like £6, and whether it was ethical etc, but on the other hand: that's a great price for classic white Keds (or rather, Keds-like sneakers). We became instant friends: she's from Brazil (via cool East London, now living in Whitstable, and loving it there).

She noticed my white Havaianas (I actually found them one Saturday morning, years ago, on the street - literally! - on the strip of Fulham Road known as 'the beach' - in March! Just days after I'd bought a hot pink pair at Coco Ribbon, one of the first shops to source them when the trend hit London. It was as if someone, the night before, literally stepped out of them, whilst hailing a cab). In Brazil, they were originally made for poor people. No one expected them to become chic. Same with the classic white Keds, which are now being imitated for Primark, made by children, no doubt, for peanuts. Hence the ethical question: is it wrong to buy them, at that price? Actually, when I look at their website, they are being very clear just because it's cheap doesn't mean they're not ethical. So that's that sorted then!

Watching this conversation was her son, Max, with a wisdom and zen like calm beyond his years. Max was also the name of our beloved childhood car, a Ford Fairlane Station Wagon, 'the colour of sky'. My friend Sherri named him the Blue Max. Come to think of it, she, too, has eyes the colour of sky, just like Max.

Meanwhile my husband, the fabulous Mr. Dot, had wandered off, restless and bored. I didn't realise how pissed off he really was until we drove off. I tried to tell him that we didn't just talk shoes, they had also told me about the Whitstable Oyster Festival (he loves oysters) and how there are places we can pick our own. He pulled over and stopped at a beach and said that's how I could make it up to him. 'What, Apology Oysters?' I asked. 'Exactly', said he.

So I marched out into the glorious beach, and immediately, my Havaianas sunk into the gloppy charcoal grey silky, muddy sand and got stuck. I still managed to get him three, which he ate later, along with the six he'd bought in town.

I love the dark charcoal grey of Zaira's outfit, with a bit of sharp white: it perfectly fit Whitstable on an overcast day, and was the exact colour scheme of the mud, and the white of my Havanaianas, and the Apology Oysters. And the paler soft colours of cool blue grey and warm beige, on Max and their dog, are lovely. Especially if you happen to have eyes the colour of sky.


Aline Dahl said...

I loooooooove her outfit!

Unknown said...

Now that is the coolest pictures for me so far! The sneakers are great...the chinos length is great he belt it great and the blouse and cardigan are great! Love it. Love it. Love it.
check out my trendy blog!

StyleSpy said...

!. I am mad for Zaira's pants. Those are perfect.
2. Thanks for bringing up the fact that most super-cheap goods are not worth their bargain price when you factor in the human cost. I rattle on about this all the time -- and many people don't understand the conditions in which their bargain goods are created.
3. Our family also named its cars. I fondly remember Thunderchicken and The Whale, among others. My current car is called Tubby.

Lovely photos, J. Love that little boy!

Ms.Dot said...

Thunderchicken! Love it!! : ) What kind of cars were they, Tunderchicken and the Whales? And what colour is Tubby? What make?

Our current car we just call the Ums car, as the license plate ends with UMS. It's a very old, some would say 'vintage', navy blue Audi. Nothing grand, as we're surrounded by Porsches, Jaguars, etc, and it's scratched to bits. Mr. Dot's theory is no one will bother with it. We love it: the interior is white leather seats with navy piping, and a burled wood dashboard. And it's got such a cute personality! : )

Anyone else out there name their cars? I'd love to do a post on it, link it with people's blogs.

Mom Fashion World said...

i love the classy look of her outfit!
max is so handsome!
i like his curly hair!

Pearl Westwood said...

What a great story Jill x

Stephanie Clayton said...

great story!
her pants are so stylish; i'll be looking for a similar pair soon...and what a lovely little boy.
by the way, i adore your new profile pic to the right.

Ella Gregory said...

I love those trousers, such a great look!

StyleSpy said...

Thunderchicken was a 1967 Chevy Nova with a giant rumbly engine -- hence the name. The Whale was a white sedan of some sort -- it was the largest car we'd ever had as a family, although not all that large. Tubby is a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser -- he was my dad's car & I inherited him after Dad died. It's an old man car & drives like a danged tank, but it was my dad's, so I'm fond of it. (And it's paid for, also a bonus.)

Anonymous said...

you're so funny Jill-the things we have to do to apologize- you had to prove it with a shot of the oysters!
trust Mr. Dot enjoyed them!

jill said...

Actually, M, he did complain of a bit of a tummy ache after. I was very careful that the corners of my mouth did not remotely curl up.

S.Spy: that really moved me about Tubby. Cars and people I love - especially my own dad, who also has died - are strongly, emotionally connected for me. I love the image your 'old man car' & love PT Cruisers, they're so jolly. May Tubby have a long and happy life with you.