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'He was the kindest of men. And now she is alone'

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When the email came I was floating around the house in a deep blue shalwar kameez with its dupatta, a shawl-like scarf, wrapped French-style around my neck. I had woken up that morning still at peace with my world and all in it, and for some reason – God knows why – thought about wearing it.

I had worn it just once but even with the mass clear-out last year I couldn’t part with. It was worn at Glyndebourne, the opera festival to which I’d been invited from a house party 22 years ago. I remember the date exactly for my son was 14 and wearing his first dinner suit.

Made for me, at vast cost, in a rather upmarket Indian shop in Glasgow, it is a simple fine, fine jersey, with muted embroidery around the neck and cuffs; tiny starbursts embroidered down the body with a fan of soft pleats falling from well below the waist in a front panel.

I wore it with its matching loose trousers fitted at the ankles.

It was bought in desperation, for I was overweight and going with a long-legged group of younger, horribly rich, beautiful friends.

There was no question of competing; simply of covering up. It would have looked magnificent on someone even three inches........

© Herald Scotland