my grandmother. She was a brooch-wearing kind of lady. I envied her a little for her box full of costume jewellery always felt like an Aladdin's cave - sparkling, mesmerising and magical. The brooches were her treasures, I think. Those and a wedding ring - a very thin gold band with a row of tiny rubies, which she never took off. The story goes that my grandma and granddad had quite a fight when he gave it her, just after the war. He had to save for ages - and she was never a big spender and rather careful with money... She accepted, of course, but told him off for being so frivolous... Their love lasted for over 60 years...
So there was just one ring, but plenty of sparkling inexpensive brooches worn on a daily basis as a finishing touch to one of the few dresses my grandmother had - those were shifts, modest, simple and made to last. The brooch made all the difference.
And so all these memories flashed through my mind as I watched Prada's Fall/Winter 2015 live stream. I suddenly thought how wonderful it is to have a brooch or a few of my own, especially a flower or a star.
Although a brooch can be a tricky accessory to turn to, they really are pretty special. Each is almost like a pet, with its own character, soul, sparkle, ability to make you feel happy and complete. It can transform a coat, jacket or dress made for many into something very unique to us and, by doing so, create a form of a comfort zone, a style...
Best thing of all? It doesn't even need to be a Prada, or de la Renta, or, say, Kenneth Jay Lane... In this instance, a high street or vintage is a perfect compromise.
Pick one, or two, or three pieces, wear them on a lapel, shoulder, belt or even in your hair; mix and match, combine a few at a time as a little "family of three"; prettify your shoes with a brooch and add one to your denim jacket, too... Don't treat it as a trend, but is a subtle way to show that you know a thing or two about fashion and love having fun with it.
Here are some of the most charming flowers, stars and butterflies - just a few pretty little treats from the high street and all under £25 including the ones that look very Prada.