“Where’s the denim jacket?” he said.
“The” being code for ours, ie originally bought for one of us, but then appropriated by the other, eg sweatshirts, rugby shirts, shirts, and ‘the’ denim jacket.
‘The’ denim jacket was in Spain, as far as I remembered.
“I’ll wear my Barbour,” he said, hauling the rather mouldy jacket out of storage.
The trouble with living in a warm sub-tropical climate (apart from cockroaches and mosquitoes) is that things do get a bit damp, and well, mouldy.
So we dug out the Barbour Thornproof Dressing that perhaps we should have used more than once in the last 20 years. And he got to work rewaxing the jacket to get rid of the surface mould.
Of course, once out in the street, in his newly waxed jacket, he was immediately accosted by an American tourist.
“Excuse me, do you speak English?” she said.
“Of course, can I help you?”
“Can I buy one of those jackets here?” she asked. “It looks so British, and used. And I want one.”
Partner said that she could buy one here but not until tomorrow and that they are rather expensive. She didn’t care, and she is here tomorrow. So he told her the two shops in Gib that sell them that we know of, Garcia in Main Street, and the shop down the bottom of Irish Town on the left hand side.
An hour or so later, he went to the pub, and had yet more admiring comments from Americans, who were about the same age as the Barbour jacket.
Brief history of our Barbour jackets: we bought them 22 years ago, for around £75+ for mine, £95+ for his. As I remember. I wore mine relentlessly in and out of London as a commuter. Mine is a Beaufort (or was). (His is a Northumbria – not made any more from what I can see).
Sadly my rough tough jacket did not like commuting in and out of London and soon began to wear. Despite being – allegedly – waterproof, windproof, thornproof, whatever proof, they aren’t London-proof. Although as everyone knows, an aged and distressed Barbour is even more chic than a new one. To the extent you can now buy one pre-aged. Rather like buying faded Levis I suppose.
Many years later, mine was so – genuinely – aged and distressed, holes everywhere, zip not working (I have to step in and out of it because I can’t undo it), that I decided to send it back to Barbour for a bit of TLC. Now, while I am a perfectly good seamstress I just did not have the time to faff around with the jacket.
No, it was not worth Barbour’s time and my money to repair. It would be more cost effective to buy a new one. Having paid the glorious sum of nearly £10 to be told this, there was no way I was going to put even more money Barbour’s way.
So I hung onto it, and continued to wriggle in and out of it, invariably to everyone’s fascination wherever we went.
I haven’t worn it for ages, but having spent the best part of two hours rewaxing it this morning, I decided to wander out in it to let the wax dry. I think you are meant to dry it with a hairdryer or something, but it’s just as easy to walk outside here in Gib.
Oooh. It was very nice. I had forgotten how nice it feels and looks. Nothing like a scruffy, but well-waxed, Barbour to look so British and middle-class. Such a nice colour and so well cut.
Must buy another tin of wax. I think we bought this one 22 years ago at the same time.
Oh and en route, some passengers from a cruise ship in cruise ship uniform. It seems one is issued with cruise ship clothing so one doesn’t get lost. Rather like school uniform. How quaint. Gib is not that big.
And a strelitzia, they are in full bloom now.