"Have you heard of Norah Roberts?" they ask at the Oxfam bookshop. I haven't. She is, I discover, an American romantic novelist with more than 200 titles under her belt. They point to a large plastic refuse sack on the floor full of paperbacks by her. Somebody must have been a fan. "You should put this in your blog, to help us sell them on," they say. So here goes.
Ugg is or used to be an Australian producer of boots and other footwear. I express surprise that Australia should have produced, in the Ugg boot, what has become an international fashion brand. Originally they tell me Ugg boots were made to be worn on the beach after surfing The lambs' wool lining was intended to absorb the water from wet feet and to keep you warm. That was before the rather clumsy looking boots spread, via the surfing community, to Southern California and, as it caught on for more general use, via New York to Europe. Fashion often it seems has its roots in utility.