Today I'm working the dandy look. I'm wearing (or I was when I went over to the cathedral for the main 10.30 service) a long-line black velvet jacket. It's the kind of jacket that should have a silk handkerchief in the pocket and a green carnation in the lapel. It is a dashing jacket, a smoking jacket, a 'Get Me, I'm a Writer' jacket. This is what you wear when you are stylish rather than fashionable.
And because we are also urban and edgy, we are wearing this statement jacket with jeans. Skinny jeans and high-heeled boots. These boots are as high as I can go and still walk, so not very high actually. I got them from my big sister in a Boxing Day boot swap, you will remember. I've had fleeting pangs of regret ever since. Was I wise to let go of those killer biker ankle boots with pointy toes and kitten heels? I bet my big sister won't ever wear them. If I'd played my cards right and undermined her self-esteem, I might have ended up with both pairs.
That was an unworthy thought, especially on the Sabbath.
The jacket came from a charity shop in Sutton Coldfield on a trip I made with my mate Bubbles and a couple of other friends to buy one of them a dinner suit for the Cathedral Patrons' Annual Dinner. I tried to explain that you can't just go out to a charity shop at short notice and buy something specific. (Unless you want a video of 'The Full Monty', a copy of 'McCarthy's Bar' or the charity shop set of 5 matching sherry glasses, which are always in stock.) But my friends wouldn't listen to me. We made our way round all the charity shops of Sutton, before we ended up with frayed tempers in M&S, where I had a fit of extreme bossiness over trouser length. But if I can spare one man the indignity of jack-ups, my life has not been wasted.
Still, on that same trip I was lucky enough to spot my black velvet jacket for £7. Not a wholly wasted trip then. I bore it proudly home only to find an almost identical one hanging on my clothes rail. If anyone would like a black velvet jacket (Dorothy Perkins, size 12), do get in touch.
With this ensemble I'm wearing a purple long-sleeved jersey top (New Life Charity Warehouse, Cannock, 5 years ago) black vest (Gap), red necklace. In a fit of swaggering non-matchiness, I flung on a flame pink scarf as I left the house. It was only during the Intercessions that I noticed the reason it was flame pink was that it was woven of purple and red fibre. Curses! It matched after all.
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.