Tuesday, 6 October 2015

"You are not wearing that again,"

Ms Whirlwind informed me. She was looking at a modest pile of winter clothing I had folded ready to put away for the summer.
"What? My coat? It's all right."
"You can't. Look at it. Honestly. I worked it out. That coat is three times older than I am!"
I worked it out. She is right. I bought that coat in Marks and Spencer the first year I went to London. It was a bit big at the time but it was the only one in that particular branch and, being me, I couldn't be bothered to go further. 
It was a navy blue duffle coat. I wore it a lot - right through English winters. You don't really need a coat Downunder  but you do need one there. I had a scarf and mittens too - oh and woolly socks, care of the children's department. 
I loved that coat. It was comfortable. It was warm. I suppose it made me look like a student when I was part student, part staff.
I wore it when I lived in Canberra too - for four more years that coat got loved each winter. Other people envied it. Yes, it made me look like a student even when I was part student, part staff.
The coat had another year in Melbourne. 
Back here it has scarcely been worn. It isn't cold enough to need that sort of coat. I wear a waterproof when I am pedalling - it keeps the wind out as well. 
And I suppose I have to be honest and say that yes, it did look a little worse for wear. 
The Whirlwind took it from me. Did I want to keep the toggles? Yes. She took them off. She put the coat in with the other things I thought I needed to remove from the wardrobe. There weren't many. I tend to wear my clothes to shreds.
"It's all right," she told me, "The Senior Cat still has his coat. That's all that matters."
And yes, the Senior Cat still has the tweed jacket his father made for him. It was made before my father married my mother. It has been relined more than once. It looks old. It is old. 
But we can't throw that out. He wears it sometimes.
I'll put the toggles from the duffle coat on something else and go on wearing it that way.
But - little minx - the Whirlwind went off with my duffle coat. 

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