As soon as I felt the first chill wind of October I was on a mission to get ahead of the weather. Last year was a total fail, preparation-wise. The children had the wrong footwear, they had no waterproofs and, for myself, I had to cobble together a layered approach to create a ‘coat’ effect out of a few fleeces and a waterproof jacket.
Not so this year. They have all-in-one snow suits and have made their snow angels as hoped. They had appropriate footwear for any weather eventuality. And I pre-emptively bought myself a bumfle-jacket to be proud of. It’s long, it’s padded, it’s hooded and it’s warm. It may have a kind of polar-bear-huntress look about it, but it does the job.
But it has a couple of downsides.
Firstly, it is beige. So when you lift small children with muddy boots, it isn’t beige. So you have to wash it. Which would be fine – it’s machine-washable and tumble-dryable. As long as you tumble dry it with tennis balls.
Which means you have to go and buy tennis balls in late November when they are not exactly seasonal. Sainbsburys had tennis racquets and shuttlecocks. *resists lapsing into a discussion of the spelling of raquet/racket, just saying* Asda: fail. But Tesco came up with the tennis balls, so I could drop the clatty look and go back to the original Winterwonderland Chic look with which I began.
All this is pure preamble to my main theme: I am developing a new habit – leaving cardigans behind.
While the bumfle jacket is great for being outside, it is NOT APPROPRIATE for the indoors. As soon as I go in anywhere, I start to feel positively ill, panicky and overheat – and it is a race between me and the coat. Can it make me pass out before I remember to take it off? Usually I win.
And on leaving a place, once I put it on, I have to make a swift exit before I swoon from the heat, so my partings are swift and fleeting, so I don’t slip in a slick of my own sweat on the way to the door.
All this heat means that, once the jacket is on, I don”t think to myself “Hey, I’m sure I arrived with a cardigan and scarf on”. So I leave my cardigan behind.
The first time was a few weeks ago. I was timing my exit precisely for my bus, so donned the jacket and made my exit. I was crossing the road to the bus stop and realised Doh!: no cardi. Or scarf, as it turned out.
And then tonight.
Another saga encroaches on my relating here my cardigan habit. The extenstion. I’ll try not to go there – suffice to say: it is NOT WARM. Because of this I had asked my relis for long woollens for Christmas, so that I can be in the extension. And they came good, with a duo of long grey cardis. Today, mid afternoon I suddenly realised that I was frozen to the bone, so I put on both of them and began to defrost, before I went out.
Bumfle jacket on, over the two grey cardis, off I went for the afternoon and evening. And again, on leaving one venue for the next, I left my cardis behind. So I texted three people that were still there and phoned the place and got them to corale my belongings.
At this rate, I will be cardiganless by the new year. Apparently it takes five repetitions to create a habit and this is a habit I do not want to create.
I hope, by writing this, I have caught this stitch in time…