I put my Resolution to the test today by going into Birmingham's Bull Ring. Not a flicker of acquisitiveness, I'm happy to report, even though the Sales are on. Doing most of your clothes shopping in charity shops does arm you with a protective shield. Where most people would think 'Bargain!' I'm apt to snort, 'Fifteen quid? For a pair of jeans? I think not!' A sterner test came later on, when the chancellor and I did a quick whiz round the charity shops of Lichfield. Here my strategy was simply not to look at the women's clothes and shoes, but instead to browse menswear (for the men in my life) and the bric-a-brac shelves.
Today I'm wearing what might be quite an interesting outfit, or on the other hand, rather a disastrous one. Yesterday while I was out and about I tried to keep an eye open for interesting fashion statements to see if I could gain inspiration. Lack of inspiration is what drives us out to buy new clothes, whereas in fact we could simply combine existing garments in an imaginative way and gain a whole new look. What we so often lack is the eye; the ability to see the potential in our wardrobe.
The outfit that caught my attention outside Superdrug was on a young woman (uh-oh! thinks the reader). She was wearing leggings, two layers of long tailed shirt, lace-up work boots, and a black leather biker jacket. It looked urban and edgy. I could do that, I thought. I have the stuff. Kind of. So here's my approximation: black treggings, black and white fine stripe long sleeved T-shirt under that chunky black knit tunic thing I got from the other Close Catherine. I do have a very long cotton shirt with billowing tails (like the one my inspiration was wearing), but it needed ironing. I have the leather biker jacket, but I don't quite have the work boots, despite my extensive boot collection. So I opted for a brown (see how they fail to match!) pair which hover somewhere between 8-hole DMs and desert boots (Clarks, a cast-off from Pat the Midwife). To this I added a red necklace and a dark plum chunky scarf.
Doubt assailed me as I stood in front of the mirror. Did it work? Did I look top-heavy, with my bulky leather-clad shoulders, and my over-layered top half dwindling absurdly down to tiny-looking feet? Were my legs chunky? Eek. They were! But was that actual chunkiness, or a hormone induced optical illusion? To put it brutally, was this ensemble urban and edgy, or did I look like a tragic 50 year old art teacher?
Two courses of action opened out at this point: taking it all off and starting again, or donning attitude and a stylish pair of sunglasses and sallying forth. Reader, I chose the latter.
About this blog
This is a window into the weird world of Anglicanism, as experienced on a Cathedral Close. Has anything much happened since Trollope's Barchester Chronicles? You will still see the 'canon in residence' hurrying across to choral Evensong, robes flapping, as the late bell chimes. But look carefully and you will notice he is checking the football score on his iPhone as he runs. This is also a writer's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the novelist's life. And it's a fighter's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the judo mat. Well, the agony, anyway.