A Sartorial Solution

images (2)My sartorial dilemma has been temporarily resolved; I speak of the challenge of dressing with crutches. To be secure enough to avoid taking a tumble the arm bands need to be close fitting – this is a nightmare when wearing anything more chunky that a single garment. Last week I impatiently thrust my arm into the crutch (note I am being restrained in terms of exploiting all the double entrendre that could be mined here) and as I looked down carnage appeared before my very eyes! My butter soft leather jacket sleeve was torn from side to side; the silky maroon lining gaped as if an eye seeing the light for the first time! In simple terms the jacket is ruined – anybody need leather to patch something else up?

I was on my way to a meeting (of course) so pragmatically I thought the best thing to do was to confess; get the sympathy of the audience it works every time! The more irritating thing was it was raining and there was now a great big open window equivalent in the middle of my right arm! Bugger to quote my mother! Next day a friend and I were in Llandeilo for lunch and a light spot of shopping. I had been meaning to visit Mari Thomas new shop and jewellery workshop since receiving the email saying she was relocating from Swansea Marina. Entre nous I was rather hoping to add something to my collection (of her work) but sadly twas not to be (no doubt much to the relief of Santander where I have my business bank account – for another year ones Accountant will be applying to HMRC for a concession to reduce the January tax payment).

My friend had a faulty item to return to Toast; for information a customer cannot return an item bought on line to a shop (although the shop offered to send the item back to the online place). Personally I was not entirely convinced by this in terms of customer service; I reserve judgement until I see the outcome. Toast in Llandeilo has a sale shop next to the ordinary shop which is rather enticing for a casual shopper and this one was utterly seduced! Taking note of my maternal parent’s advice never to buy something in a sale unless you would have bought it full price I was at pains to tell my companion I had considered a cape when I received the catalogue.images

images (1)This is in fact true; the recent sleeve ripping (a Spinsterly equivalent of bodice ripping perhaps) suddenly made the cape the perfect solution. The high neck snugly caresses the vulnerable flesh meaning a scarf is unnecessary although a silk number might add a little something. The merino wool is warm and wind proof; the length covers the seating area hanging mid thigh and the drape from the shoulder (with an inverted pleat at the back) the epitome of divine flattery! images (5)OK perhaps there is a hint of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple as played by Margaret Rutherford (with a slight leg extension) but as a curious (and inquisitive) Spinster one feels entirely at home. Tonight I shall complete the ensemble with a black felt hat when attending Midnight Mass at 1130pm.

The church is across the lane from my parental home and it is where my mother attends the weekly service. It is a small village affair with an equally small congregation; everyone is a known quantity and new comers are welcomed especially if they display signs of becoming a regular. Such establishments are vulnerable to closure and with the last vicar leaving things are once again up in the air. Although not a regular church attender I appreciate the importance of the local church; in days gone by I was to be found assisting the priest as an accolade (girl server) albeit in the Crooked Spire in Chesterfield.

The church has a prayer list and my name has been on it for some time; it is a curious experience to be in the congregation and hear your name read out. Tonight one of the congregation is apparently looking forward to finally meeting me and hence my dilemma. On the one hand I intend to cut a dash in my new cape; with the clip of my crutches heads will turn as I walk down the aisle (if only to hear worse coming)! But then will I look a fraud? Should such a sophisticated lady be on the prayer list? Am I taking up a place someone else might benefit from after all one is gifted with a chronic incurable illness; unless divine intervention well intervenes with a miracle it seems mean?

OK I say this slightly with my tongue in my cheek because this is about hope and comfort; about reassurance and the love that comes from being part of an established belief system. It is both about me and not about me; about me as I am the subject and whether I believe or not isn’t really relevant. What I have become more acutely aware of is the impact of my condition on those who love and care for/about me; this responsibility weighs heavily especially at times like this. I am the second generation to have MS in our family; we have all seen the impact and although each person is different this frankly doesn’t make it any easier. Somehow the preview performance coupled with uncertainty being the only certain thing makes the situation more difficult for all of us. So accepting well meaning/kindly invitations to engage in compulsory fun is the right thing to do even if having the ‘condition’ is a guaranteed get out of jail free card; it is a number of decades since recalcitrant obstreperous behaviour was acceptable!

Enjoy the festivities however and with whomever you are celebrating with. Smile and faun when you are the recipient of gifts that frankly seem to have been mislabelled as you can’t imagine why the giver would think you’d like the (in your opinion) ghastly item! Indulge others, indulge yourself and let others indulge you; spread the love ladies you know it the sophisticated thing to do!

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