Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Planet Boden; (1) Johnnies Pal: David Cameron at Play (2) Ideal Look: Mum Wears Coat, ?175; Fuchsia Jersey, ?49; Trousers, ?75. Daughter Wears Cardigan, ?32; Gypsy Skirt, ?22 (3) Flower Power: Dress ?89, Leopard Heels ?95 (4) City Slicker: Dress ?65, Heels ?110, Bag ?125

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Planet Boden; (1) Johnnies Pal: David Cameron at Play (2) Ideal Look: Mum Wears Coat, ?175; Fuchsia Jersey, ?49; Trousers, ?75. Daughter Wears Cardigan, ?32; Gypsy Skirt, ?22 (3) Flower Power: Dress ?89, Leopard Heels ?95 (4) City Slicker: Dress ?65, Heels ?110, Bag ?125

Article excerpt

Byline: ANNE McELVOY

OH, BLESSED Bodenland: home of pale sunny skies and smiling mamas, large friendly dogs, white ponies and children just the right side of over-exuberant, clad in their quirky but neat outfits.

Thanks to those seaside pictures of David and Samantha Cameron looking so healthily Bodenesque on their Corn-wall holiday, the catalogue that sells the dream of a life of ease and fun has become more than just a smart cata-logue to have around. If the New Tories were a clothing company they would be this one: confident and prosperous (with a country house lurking some-where in the background).

Alas, that leaves those pictures of Gor-don and Sarah Brown in Suffolk looking like something out of Grattan.

I live in Bodenland at least some of the time or try to, as the weekend resident of one of those nice seaside towns where some of the catalogue images are shot.

So I can inform you with some author-ity that it is impossible for most of us to live this agreeably for longer than about half an hour. For a start, small boys are only grudgingly compliant.

As soon as they realise that other delightfully vulgar clothing lines exist, the hoard of artful striped shirts and neat blue board-shorts is abandoned. Ours inherited a bag of lovely jumble consisting of Harry Potter pyjamas and T-shirts with serpents heads. They are so ridiculously happy it seems cruel to force them back to tastefulness.

The other clever illusion is that fami-lies run along doing things happily together. There is a winning picture in the new catalogue of a woman looking at paintings on the pavement while her boy sits meditatively at her feet.

Where is the child pulling your arm out to a 90-degree angle, saying: I dont wanna look at pictures: its boring! …

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