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.

Monday 27 February 2012

Will you Wear Red, Jenny Jenkins?

'Will you wear red, oh my dear, oh my dear? Will you wear red, Jenny Jenkins?' enquires the traditional American folk song.  To which Jenny replies, 'I won't wear red, it's the colour of my head. I'll buy me a fol-de-roldy toldy toddy seek-a-double, use-a-cause-a-roll-the-find-me. Roll, roll, Jenny Jenkins, roll.'  We learnt that on Singing Together on the radio when I was at Primary School, and I never did master the nonsense bit at the end.  

On the whole, I'm with Jenny Jenkins here.  I seldom wear red.  Not because it's the colour of my head.  Though if I drink too much wine then it's the colour of my face these days, as many ladies at this interesting stage of life will also have discovered.  A bright tomato red has never been one of my best colours.  It tends to make me look a bit washed out.  I need a red that's more at the pink end of the spectrum than the orange.  Think dark red peonies rather than pillar box.

Last Friday, however, was National Wear Red Day for the British Heart Foundation.  I discovered this when I spotted it was trending on Twitter.  At the time I was sitting at my computer in my slobbing about gear, devoid of sartorial inspiration.  Right, I'll have a rummage, I thought.  And I found a pair of bright red plimsolls (sort of fake Converse from the late lamented TJHughes), a bright red 3/4 length sleeve V-necked T-shirt with a sprinkling of sparkly red glass gems down the front.  This was also from TJs.  I bought it a couple of Christmases ago to wear under an ankle length coat dress with astonishing fur trim at neck and cuffs in the manner of Cruella De Vil.  Darling, I LIVE for furs!

I wore this T-shirt on Friday in a more dressed down style, with a pair of slouchy boyfriend jeans.  All through the day I kept mistaking the glittery gems for crumbs scattered on my bosom.  That's peripheral vision for you.  I also wore a red heart-shaped pendant, a fitting tribute to the British Heart Foundation, who do a good job, and at whose boutiques I have found many a bargain over the years.


  1. You know what they say, "Red shoes, no knickers."

  2. I thought it was 'fur coat, no knickers'.

    1. I've definitely heard red shoes. Also red hat, no knickers. In fact, hardly anyone seems to wear knickers according to the sayings.

  3. I agree with Ros. Red shoes, no knickers was what I was told. I used to relish telling people that when I had a pair of red shoes.

  4. Well, I'd never come across this slur on red shoe wearers. It was fur coats round our way.

  5. It's both! I hear 'red shoes no knickers' most often (could be because I wear red shoes though. Whereas fur is bad) but I've definitely heard the fur coat one too. I think they are used to mean slightly different things though:

    'Red shoes, no knickers'- a statement to indicate that the woman, who is normally actually wearing red shoes, is a bit of a tart (It's not true. I am merely a socialist).

    'She's all fur coat and no knickers'- a statement to indicate that the woman, who is not normally actually wearing fur (because fur is bad) comes across as elegant and ladylike when in reality she is a bit of a tart.

  6. I'd understood that she'd spent all her money on a fur coat and couldn't afford any knickers. So it was all outward show, and no substance.