I've been kind of busy lately, in my working life. After 17 years in the beauty industry, mostly retail, I seized an opportunity to work in fashion and accessories instead, temping. Six months in Selfridges, handbags, clothes, shoes, Sample Room at Net a Porter, runner at Gucci Bond Street, customer host at Louis Vuitton Westfield, it's been great experience.
I joined Move GB, a gym with endless fitness options, currently learning belly dancing and tango, albeit challenging. I entered a writing competition; Glamour magazine has invited entries for the Dawn O'Porter column, really hoping I make the short list, no way I will win it, find out sometime next month.
My current temp assignment is in a quiet boutique in Marylebone High Street. One day last week, a quiet American lady with a lovely smile, senior, came to buy a few items of clothing. I waited on her, getting the right sizes for her. She spent several hundred pounds and when asked for her surname for the tax free receipts, the lady replied Arkin. I wondered to myself if she could possibly be related to Alan Arkin as she told me she lives in California, then I thought no, Arkin must be a common name.
Mrs Arkin came back to the boutique the following day, she told me her husband thought she had bought a size too big and she commented that he has a better eye than she does, I was happy to assist her with a smaller size. I wished her a pleasant vacation.
Mrs Arkin came back to the boutique a few days later, saying she was just passing and couldn't resist coming in, she browsed a little and left and returned a little while later with her husband, Alan Arkin, I tried hard not to do a double take, I literally was stunned to find myself staring at the face of one of America's finest character actors. I asked him if he visited London often, he said he hadn't been to London in twenty years, no mistaking that New York accent.
Mrs Arkin asked me about some quilted loungewear, she commented it might be too warm for California.. I asked her, doesn't it get cold there sometimes, that I watch the lovely ladies on the red carpet and they are sometimes shivering, Mr and Mrs Arkin giggled. They left the boutique soon after and I said it was nice to have seen them.
It was unreal for this unsuccessful screenwriter to have seen and heard the great Alan Arkin, even if it was only polite conversation. I didn't want to fawn over him or ask for his autograph, after all, he's on vacation. Hoping that Mr and Mrs Arkin have a wonderful stay here in London, so great to have met the grandpa from Little Miss Sunshine, he's a super freak, super freak!