Ever since I started planning, all I wanted to do was go to Southall to source all the fabric I'd need. I got a call from Mum who mentioned that my Khala (Aunty) had loads of stuff in her loft she wasn't using, and that she'd be happy to give it away.
So on a Saturday evening in April I went to see a Khala who I hadn't seen in months. As soon as I walked through her door, the home's unmistakable fragrance hit me. A mix of laundry detergent and cooking, homely and welcoming. She embraced me, and I, her. After squeals of 'Its been such a long time' type conversations, we went upstairs to her loft.
Up the sturdy steel stairs, now surrounded by exposed wood. The loft is busy, bits and bobs condensed to all four corners. Excitedly, we begin. Throwing all sorts of material in the bag. Neglected shalwar kameezs, shawls, bangles, even shoes, are flung into the now heaving bag. Khala goes to add more, to which I reply: 'This is more than enough!' The rest of the evening is spent laughing, catching up, sharing tales of a past life and hopes for what is to come.