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 2 February 2012

DAY 33--Winter Clothes

Today is a desk bound day.  I'm therefore wearing as many layers of thermal things as I can.  Silk long johns under leggings, thermal vest under merino wool sweater under big pink cardigan.  This is nice and cosy for me, but rather dull reading for you.

Tedium, that's partly what drives us into the shops or onto the internet.  We simply get bored with our clothes.  But as recently as when I was a child (my sons would guffaw at this contradiction) people had a much smaller clothes repertoire.  A few skirts, a couple of pairs of trousers, some jumpers and shirts, maybe a smart suit and a party frock. Further back, if you were really poor you only had one set of winter clothes, and your mum sewed you into them.  There were no centrally heated bathrooms and power showers to tempt you into the luxury of hygiene.  You stayed sewn into those layers till spring.

We used to have winter clothes and summer clothes.  My three sisters and I looked forward to the ritual of getting the summer clothes out of the trunk.  Would that coveted dress be ours this year?  Would we have to pass our favourite shorts on to a younger sister?  I couldn't possibly fit all my wardrobe into a single trunk.  But one trunk contained summer clothes for four girls.  We definitely had less stuff back in the 60s.  One pair of sandals in the summer, one pair of winter shoes, one pair of wellingtons, one pair of plimsolls which were only for PE, not for playing in the garden.

Too much stuff.  We all have too much stuff.  Within a generation buying new clothes all the time has become normalised.  Like drinking wine.  If we overhear this half sentence '...we try to get through till Thursday evening without...' we all know it's a cutting-down-on-booze conversation.  Who used to drink wine on Tuesday nights back in 1973?  But who thinks anything of it now?  We've been wound up like little clockwork consumers and pointed to the shops: Go, my pretties! Spend! Because you are worth it!

Yes, yes.  All this the world well knows yet none knows well to shun the heaven that leads us to this hell.  I still want new clothes.

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