Another day of getting things done, quite remarkable.
When our mother died ten years ago, Wink and I dealt with clothes and personal papers straight away. However, she had a lot of clothes and didn’t have enough room in her wardrobes (several of them) for everything, so used to have a seasonal switchover, taking those that were temporarily redundant up to the attic and hanging them there. Since she died in March, her summer clothes were still there, along with quite a lot of books and various other things. We didn’t deal with those, there was too much else to do, and once Al and Dilly lived there, they changed the use of the dressing room to a study and put in various pieces of furniture that made the extending ladder to the attic inaccessible – there’s another attic too that they were able to use. So all those clothes and everything else were still there. Now, while the annexe is almost empty, I want to clear the attics and so today Wink and I made a start by bringing those clothes down.
There are a few jumpers that Wink has taken away to try on, a couple of things I might, and the rest has been divided into two piles, one for the recycling bin by the village hall and one for a charity shop. There is only one dress where we were hit by sentiment, and that’s the one she’s wearing here, at the Sage’s and my wedding party. She’s second from the right, in pink.
A few of the clothes we couldn’t remember her ever wearing and wondered why on earth she’d bought them. One, we suspected that Wilf, our stepfather, had brought back from a business trip abroad because it was brightly coloured and pattered and pretty well shapeless, and we couldn’t imagine her choosing it. But almost as odd was this extraordinary outfit –
As you can see, it’s tight on me, so I’m sorry to inflict the photo on you (I’m sure that thick tights add at least a centimetre to one’s thighs, aren’t you?), but that’s not the worst of its crimes against fashion. And she never wore trousers of any sort, she didn’t like them – that is, she occasionally bought them but only wore them for walking the dog in very cold weather, and this outfit was certainly not a dog-walking set-up.
I guess it dates from about 1980? Why did she keep it? It was in a bag, not hung up, but even so. It reinforces my opinion that sizings have changed considerably over the years, by the way. Size 12, it was marked as a 24 inch waist and 36 inch hips. A current size 10 is roomy on me and this is a good size smaller than today’s 12, I could only just do it up. She and I were much the same size in those days, which is a few pounds less than I am now, but she’d never have worn anything so clingy. Nor would I have worn it, except to poke fun at myself.
We went to the pub for lunch, first having a drink in the bar and enjoyable conversations with a local chap and his son-in-law, then ate excellent roast beef. Then our friend called round, having borrowed his brother’s Transit van and Wink and I went with him to Ro’s house, where we loaded it up with all the stuff he’s cut down from his very overgrown garden. The big van was stuffed full and I was nearly overcome by exhaustion at one point – the weather has suddenly become hot and I was dressed in jeans and a cashmere jumper when I’d have been better off with a t-shirt, working so hard in that weather. Anyway, we did it and Wink left to go to Weeza’s house while we came back here and dumped the branches and undergrowth on the bonfire to be burned when the wind is in the right direction.