When I am writing a story, one word would trigger another story. In my last post the trigger word was ‘Jersey’.
By now I had become more interested in what I wore, and this jumper looked just the ticket.
It was a ‘batwing style’, this meant the sleeves started at the cuffs and gradually swept up to about mid waist, it was black with a red stripe along the top of the sleeves to the collar, this was all held together with very large black stitches. I loved it.
My brother David had just been married to another Ann, and they were staying with us for a while.
I came home from work one day and was greeted by the jubilant young bride, she pointed to the washing line and said.
I’m never very good at this guessing game, so I looked to where she was pointing.
With what can only be described as my heart hitting my bladder, I saw my lovely black batwing jumper with the red stripe and black stitching hanging from the washing line by the sleeves, the body almost touching the ground.
“I’ve done your washing and it’s dry already”.
It may have been dry but not as dry as my mouth, as I said.
“That’s very kind of you Ann, I didn’t know it needed washing though”
I looked in dismay at what now looked like a large Manta Ray that some fisherman had hung up to display his prowess at fishing.
In a moment, the enthusiastic Ann, had removed the jumper and was urging me to try it on, actually it wasn’t too bad; it was just the sleeves that I could see might be a problem.
They were always a bit long, but now they were about a foot too long, but the ever-resourceful Ann, said.
“All we have to do is roll the sleeves up a bit.”
This, she helped me to do, I had the feeling that she had begun to realize that all was not well with the sleeve department, and I saw the jubilation drain from her body.
To save her feelings I said it all looked great— the rolled up sleeves looked like something Anna Karenina would wear as a muff in the Russian winter.
“At last” I said. “I may be at the forefront of men’s fashion, by leading instead of copying.”
But it never caught on.
As I am slightly colour blind, so hadn’t noticed that the lovely scarlet sleeves that had caught my eye in ‘Cecil Gee’s Outfitters For the Younger Man’, had also lost their vibrancy and were now a sort of rusty colour.
The heavy knitted woolen texture of the whole jumper was more like a cheap wool mixture, with most of the wool missing, this made it all rather floppy.
I soon found another problem with this loosely knitted material,
It made cycling even more difficult in an unexpected way
The ‘batwings’ would flap, even at quite low speeds, and if I were in a hurry, the whole jumper would inflate, causing a large hump on my back.
All this plus the ‘Anna Karenina’ cuff’s was not the image I had originally sought.
Like all my clothes, once I had tired of them or more likely they had become just tired I would then wear them to work.
This was a common practice and some worker’s could be seen riding their bikes dressed in clothes not at all meant for cycling.
The ride to and from the Vickers Armstrong factory was always an exciting affair, with so many workers arriving in the morning at about the same time— eight thousand of them— it was a race to ‘clock in’ at eight.
One of the most inappropriate of these garments was a single-breasted raincoat, which a year or two earlier were all the rage with local youths.
Now these younger workers could be seen with these cheap coats flapping around them, racing to work, looking like a posse of cowboys lead by Clint Eastwood` chasing Doc Holliday in a cowboy film.
As if this was not enough of a pantomime, some of the older worker’s had invested in a little petrol engine, which was fixed to the rear wheel of their bikes, with these, they were more than capable of overtaking the ‘posse’.
They looked a grand sight with their ex army waterproof capes billowing in the wind at twenty miles per hour.