Walking along behind this woman in Central today - all in black except for her neon satin shoes - I was suddenly pierced by the strongest memories of the early 1980s. Neon colours do that to me, perhaps because they are so clearly associated with that era, just when I was coming alive to colour and texture and the allure, elusiveness and changeability of fashion, and have never really been worn since - until now, apparently.
More specifically, I'm in Miss Selfridge in Hanover Street in Edinburgh, with The Church of the Poison Mind (which even at the time I derided as puerile) on the shop's stereo and spectacularly bad-tempered Shirley Manson serving behind the counter. I'm picking up a blue and white striped ra ra skirt and contemplating a neon yellow bangle or belt to go with it.
When I was 14, Miss Selfridge was the key to being the person I wanted to be: happy, confident, popular, wearing my stripy skirt, neon dangling from my ears as I skipped along Princes Street.
I think perhaps cynicism began to set in not long afterwards, and I favoured black (and dyed my hair to prove it); I never wore neon again and probably never will. It was strange to be skewered today by the sight of someone's shoes.