My beautiful, perfect Mother died in 2016. She was universally adored and though not a ‘designer girl’ was always immaculately turned out in whatever the era called for; black patent leather mac and boots in the sixties, Liberty maxis in the seventies and latterly cashmere with a sparkly brooch. To have been christened Colombine Angharad Loveday in a pre ‘interesting’ name age was a challenge. They called her Cauliflower at school. In a moment of panic aged 18, unable to confess her real name to a smart new friend, she called herself Chis and was known by that for the rest of her life.
She was mad on ballet and spent many evenings of her life watching performances at the Royal Opera House. In the seventies, she and a friend set up a mini business making little ballet figures. What was her delight when she was allowed into the costume department one day to fill her pockets with snippets of actual fabric and braid from actual costumes. It must have been those lengths of pretty trimmings that sparked my lifelong love of haberdashery. She doesn’t have a headstone anywhere. Instead, we named a seat at the Royal Opera House after her when she died.