Just over a year ago, I was sleepily making my way up Park Street for an early morning lecture (and when I say early, unfortunately I mean midday) when I noticed something different. The local goth shop, ‘Shrinking Violet’, was completely bare save the black and white checkerboard flooring. Confused, I continued my long trek up the hill. After my lecture I passed the shop again to find the formerly empty shop to be filled with people busily painting the store in bright pop-colours.
Over the next two days Swinky’s Sweets seemed to assemble as if from nowhere. It was the evening before its grand opening that I was walking back from Sainsbury’s when I spied the rather hairy, but incredibly loveable Justin Lee Collins bumbling up the hill. Grinning from ear to ear at my first ever celebrity spotting in Bristol, I realised suddenly that he was looking straight at me- I guess he was used to the inane looks of strangers passing by.
“Alright there my love?” He drawled in all his West Country glory. Shocked, I let out a little squeak of excitement.
“OHMYGOSH! Hi Justin Lee Collins! How are you?!” Any sort of cool I once had flew out the window as my motor mouth spun out of control.
“I’m good thanks love, just checking out this new shop here…” he nodded over towards Swinky’s.
“Oh yeah, it looks so amazing, I wish I could work there!” I said, before realising that he probably had no interest in my intentions whatsoever and was just being polite.
“Well good luck if you do try, looks like a brilliant place!” he replied enthusiastically. Not wanting to disturb him any longer, I rushed a goodbye in the cringeworthy form of:
“Oh wow thanks Justin Lee Collins! See you around Justin Lee Collins!” Apparently, my mouth was refusing to stop repetitions of his full name…
A few days later, I walked out of Swinky’s with a brand new job, and have ever since considered Justin Lee Collins to be my very own fairy godmother. Or should that be hairy godfather?
So that’s how I got here, but who am I? Let me introduce myself, I’m Red Velvet. If you know or have seen me, the pseudonym seems perfectly apt, and even more so if you live with me and know my love of cream cheese. My flatmates are witnesses to my late night Philadelphia binges with a family-size tub in one hand and spoon in the other.
With introductions over, I hope you all enjoy the ramblings of this sweet-toothed student in the coming weeks of our Swinky blogs.
Red Velvet XX