Saturday, February 1, 2014

My Coat

This isn't about cycling, and there's not even a mention of wheels, but it's my blog, which no one reads anyway, so I'll write what I want.

Here’s my new coat. To someone of my vintage it looks a little like an old coat, a bit like one my brother had in 1974, but it really is new. Navy blue, it’s woollen, double breasted, has big buttons and I might once have described it as both too old or young for me. But I like it.

I needed a coat, I’ve got a big, voluminous black thing which comes with a zip-on peaked hood and a net pocket inside. It’s very warm, but better suited to ski slopes than going to a funeral, or taking the children shopping: similar occasions you’ll agree. I didn’t have anything remotely warm I could wear over even half smart clothes and, whilst it’s not the arctic, it does occasionally get a little nippy in England during the winter.

My new coat is more than just a woollen coat, however. This is the first woollen coat I’ve owned since a railwayman’s donkey jacket I lost when I was 17. From my childhood I remember a duffel coat with a red tartan lining and wooden toggles which had a full, sweet smell when wet. Wool has weight and substance, it gives warmth, is natural, real, and has a comforting homely feel, like snuggling in bed when all is well in the world. My new coat keeps me warm, but it makes me think and helps me remember things I thought had gone.

And for that reason it’s more than just a coat.

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