... the meaning behind the name. (no shopping in this one, but I warn you now - it's a 'happysad' story.)
Swelegant Style Shopping's name comes (for those unacquainted) from the song "What a Swell Party" from the musical 'High Society'. The song was immortalised in the movie by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, but I've only heard them do it a few dozen times. To me, the song belonged to my Dad - who used to sing all the time as he wended his cheerful way - and very often the opening phrase "I have heard / among this clan..." or a Bingalike "Bom bom-bom / Buh bom bom bomm".
When we knew Dad's death wasn't just inevitable, but a matter of days, we began to discuss the funeral. I guess there was a familarity in planning a party, and a focus in having something to achieve. I felt really strongly that there should be something swinging for my Dad - a Rat packer at heart (one of my fondest inherited traits) - despite my mum not being a fan. I suggested "Fly Me to the Moon", but Mum reminded me that "What a Swell Party" was his every day favourite.. That night, I was on bedside duty, and when it was clear that the remaining time was in the minutes, and I was waiting for my family to arrive, I ran out of nonsense to say to him. In the quiet on the 2am ITU ward, I softly sang that song to him.
We did play it at the funeral. It is a fabulous song, and I've decided to have a line from its chorus tattooed on my foot: "What a swell party this is" since that really sums up my lovely Dad's positive attitude to life; the trait I most of all admire him for. Were my feet bigger, I would no doubt have the sentiment written in full - because what the song says, loud and clear, is "what a swelegant, elegant party this is".
And it's not wrong.
Since October, I've written this blog to remind myself that life is swelegant. My grief has subsided a little, but strangely this blog - this displacement activity - has become one of the most enjoyable parts of my life. Life's a swelegant party indeed.
BGW 3rd January 1937 - 10th October 2008