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.

Thursday 12 January 2012

DAY 12

Today will be a Four Outfit day.  So far I've followed yesterday's pattern of lounge wear followed by running kit followed by proper clothes.  My fourth outfit will be my karate kit which I will wear tonight at my first karate session of 2012.

A karate kit is similar to a judo kit in that it consists of baggy white trousers and a loose white jacket tied with a long belt (and for women players, a white T-shirt).  Karate kits, however, are made of much thinner cotton, as there isn't as much in the way of pub brawling, scragging and grappling in karate.  If you wear a karate kit on the judo mat, it will probably be ripped by the end of the session.  At my first few karate classes I wore my judo kit, and out of professional courtesy I was invited to wear my black belt.  Unfortunately, anyone watching probably didn't think 'How brave! A judoka taking up karate at an advanced age!'  No, I fear they just frowned and wondered why that black belt was so comprehensively useless.  But now I have the proper kit, and a red belt, which is one up from novice.  I hope to get my yellow belt this March.  But before you ask, I will not buy myself a yellow belt.  It will be given me.

And now let's turn to what I have on right now: (stifles yawn) yes, it's the old treggings, boots and a big jumper combo.  But with subtle variations!  The treggings are black M&S, but something odd has happened to the waist which means I have to keep hoicking them up.  Maybe the elastic's shot.  A bit of clumsy stitchery may be in order.  Or else I will lay them to one side as consolation if I put on weight.  The old pale tan boots today. And a garment which is entirely new to you, the reader, though it is an old friend of mine: a black thermal vest.  I bought this for a couple of quid about 12 (is this possible? how time flies!) years ago on Walsall market.  It's in the classic old lady style--vaguely lacy, wholly unglamorous.  Short sleeves and an off-centre V-neck, which is probably why it turned up in the seconds pile on Walsall market.  It seems to made of some completely indestructible substance with a half life of 1000 years, like school blazers.  I hope still to be wearing it when I exit the 50-70 age bracket as it's nice and warm.

Over this I'm wearing a long green polo-neck jumper.  The style suggests that it may be genuine vintage (sleeves gathered into the slightly dropped shoulder seams), but as usual, it was from a charity shop and I cut the label out.  This blog has revealed to me how much green I wear.  This is a surprise.  I would have said green was a colour under-represented in my wardrobe.  This particular green hovers somewhere between 'black' and 'dark grey' on the Protect-All commercial flooring colour chart http://www.oscodaplastics.com/colors. Which just goes to show how imprecise this colour-naming business is.  I'd describe it as a mix of Lincoln green and Rookwing, but that's just one person's opinion.

A quick word about polo necks and the well-endowed woman.  If you are blessed in the balcony department you need to be canny about your polo necks, or you will end up threatening people.  All they will see is a terrifying expanse of bosom like the prow of a battle ship bearing down on them.  Some kind of chunky necklace is a good idea.  I myself am wearing one made up of large black and white interlocking plastic discs, which do not go with the rest of my outfit.  (Tra la!  See? I'm learning.)  It was a present from my middle sister and I'm very fond of it.  It has a nice funky 60s vibe going on.


  1. A dog collar has much the same effect on the well-endowed woman, I find. I shall have to experiment with necklaces, although I don't much like the "dog-collar-and-necklace" vibe, tbh...the symbolism of one conflicts with the symbolism of the other, IMHO
    The one advantage with wearing a dog-collar all year round is that one's upper chest is completely shielded from the rays of the sun, and therefore the skin remains unwrinkled and youthful. Pity about the face above, but still...

    Love the blog!

  2. The answer is obvious: you should wear a socking great pectoral cross.

  3. Polo necks also a problem for those of us with loose neck skin problem. Tend to multiply the chins still further.

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  5. Not sure what to suggest here. Clothes pegs round back of neck?