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.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

DAY 24

Here's one of my unbreakable fashion rules: Never, no matter how cold you are, wear tights under your trousers.  It is slatternly.  

This tyrannical judgement is partly why I spend so much time freezing.  But one has one's standards.  I could never feel good about myself if I knew I was wearing tights under my jeans.  It's like tucking your vest into your underpants, or wearing a thermal vest under your bra.  I'm capable of changing my mind over the years.  It used to be a law with me that visible bra straps were a no no.  And you have witnessed my attempts at lightening up over colour coordination.  But tights under trousers?  Never.

Silk thermal long johns under trousers, yes.  That is what I'm wearing right now.  I'd be the first to confess that silk long johns are not a glamorous garment.  The word 'silk' is better than 'thermolactyl', which is what Damart underwear so proudly claims to be made of.  'Damart Comfort, Warmth, Innovation & Great Value in Size 8-32!' says their website.  You will notice that the word 'glamour' is missing from that list.  When you are catering for that kind of size range, glamour will be your first casualty.

I've been trying to decide why I find room in my fashion scruples for silk long johns under trousers, but not tights.  What is the difference?  The lack of feet?  What if I cut the feet off a pair of old tights, or indeed, wore footless tights under my trousers--would that be acceptable?  Somehow I feel not.  Perhaps it's just my historic hatred of tights that's resurfacing again here.  Even though being a writer has its down side (no money, bad reviews, no reviews, abject failure for years and years) at least I can console myself with this thought: I never have to wear tights for work.

On top of my long johns I'm wearing a pair of jersey wide leg trousers with an elasticated waist from M&S.  These only narrowly escape being frumpy.  How?  Basically by being worn by moi, rather than by a women with less style.  (Self confidence, however misplaced, is at the root of style.)  Secondly, they are not two inches too short on me--a fashion error widely seen in the 50-70 age category.  Thirdly, they are black.  Fourthly, I am wearing them with a claret marabou trimmed cardigan.  Marabou trimming cancels out any incipient frumpiness lurking elsewhere in your outfit.  Commit this to memory: elasticated waist trousers, frumpy.  Marabou trim, not frumpy.  The cardigan is by East via a charity shop.  I'm also wearing my black merino wool skiiing base layer jumper and a big chunky claret necklace, which MATCHES, because that's the kind of dangerous mood I'm in.  Oh, and the silver baseball boots again, which like marabou trim, are fab at all times and in all places.  They are Cat's Pyjama clothes.

HEALTH & SAFETY WARNING: take care while cooking on a gas hob if your cuffs are trimmed with marabou.


  1. But don't you find that you lip gloss/lippy/organic manuka honey lip balm sticks to the marabou and you spend all your days spitting buts of feather out? Because I do, and I want to know you secret!

  2. Only silk or cotton may be worn next to the skin. This is generally an absolute rule, but breakable when one is compelled to wear tights(i.e with a skirt, when the wind is up) because they only come in cotton mix at best and then get baggy knees. Tights under trousers are ridiculous and itchy and bad for your skin.

  3. If you are able, you may also wear fine wool or cashmere next to your skin. Or for sport, something nylon if it has magical moisture-wicking qualities. But thanks for endorsing the no tights under trousers rule.