I have been in Manchester, for about three months, and only now, have I sorted my things out.
Who would have thought, that a boy living in Chertsey, just after the war, with just one set of clothes, would now at the age of 87, be embarrassed by having two many pairs of trousers? ………Seventeen pairs to be precise!
Not only that, but what about all the shirts, socks, pants and god only knows what else?
The simple truth is, that I never throw anything away,
OK, I have really lost any hope, that my lovely pair of flared jeans, may, one day come back in fashion. But on the other hand if I do actually throw them out, you can bet they will be all the rage immediately.
Mind you, I haven’t got the bum for them now. In fact, my legs look as if they are attached to my shoulder blades, without anything to fill the back of my trousers!
This habit of hoarding, that most men have, and certainly in my case, goes back to the time, just after the war, when we only had one set of clothes.
My brother Bernard came home, after being demobbed, with a lovely light grey, double breasted, worsted wool suit. I don’t think he ever wore it, he was a very quiet man, and hardy left the house, due to his war experiences in France.
This lovely, light grey, double breasted, worsted wool suit, was given to me, it was my first suit of any sort let alone one such as this.
I thought I was the bee’s knees, I looked dashing complete with my white plimsolls, heavy with several coats of white Blanco, and open necked shirt.
But, like so many things that look wonderful one day, the suit soon lost the factory crispness that it once had, the first thing I noticed was that the lapels started to droop, no matter what I did they just hung down, as if they were very sad, which in fact the whole suit must have been, everything just drooped.
A year later, I am back to one set of clothes, not at all suitable for a visit to Mr Croft, the dentist, next to the Town Hall.
Now my other brother comes to the rescue, Don was in the Army Cadets, and had a full uniform, there was a slight problem, he was of average build, and I was freakishly tall, nothing really fitted.
The other option was to wear my sister Chris’s Land army uniform, that would have been a better fit, apart from her breeches, the last thing I wanted was to look ridiculous.
So, when Miss Chase—who had been very kind to our family during the bad times—came to collect me in her Rolls Royce Shooting Break, I was very smart in Don’s uniform, albeit a bit tight.
I will never forget the dentists look of astonishment when I walked into his surgery, I must have looked a bit odd.