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Old tat

Lurching from grumpy drizzle-tinged days to bright frosty headache-ridden frustration, shot through with occasional online-shopping-induced positivity, this week has been a real January rollercoaster. Oh what fun we have! Fun, if you like it with dollops of inconvenience: neither of Mr J’s motorcycles would start this morning when he needed to be somewhere, and our central heating has finally given up the ghost, just four weeks since requesting a plumber’s visit (and sadly still one week before our scheduled appointment).

However, my relief today at NOT having a headache (after a particularly bad day yesterday), boosted me as I scuttled into town to pick up four new books I had ordered from Waterstones. For no apparent reason, my thoughts wandered as I walked – and I was somehow congratulating myself that the scruffy shoulder bag I was carrying (I carry it everywhere these days) was now 20 years old. In fact, it is probably precisely 20 years and one week since I purchased it in Disney World, Orlando, at the end of our holiday there – one of the few holidays inflicted on our children which they actually agreed at the time was properly suitable.  The bag was an unaccustomed spur-of-the-moment purchase in a tourist shop, probably at an inflated price, in which I intended to pack other tat which the offspring had persuaded us to buy over the course of our stay.

This bag has thin white stripes on black, with the outline of large Mickey Mouse ears and the usual Disney logo. But the back and the straps are conveniently plain black, and this means that I can hitch it over my shoulder with the plain surface showing, thus hiding my naffness (at least in the bagging area) and promoting my preferred anonymity (which will be further enhanced when my blondness finally grows out). I think the bag sat unused in a cupboard for several years, but since we have all given up our plastic carrier-bag enthusiasm in favour of reusable totes etc, it has been promoted to ‘essential item’ status and is used on pretty much a daily basis.

This gives me great satisfaction. What had seemed to be an extravagance has turned into an eco-friendly choice. Mind you, given that it has now lasted through several years of heavy use, it is clearly indestructible and almost certainly would not biodegrade any time soon, so the only eco answer is to continue to use it forever. No matter – I have avoided the lure of this month’s Accessorize Sale and can retain my halo for now.

In a similar vein of old tat, we recently came across a photo in my father’s old transparency collection of a pre-children Mr J sporting a blue sweatshirt which he still wears for rowing. 

Our children are fast approaching their 29th and 27th birthdays. This means that the sweatshirt is at least 30 years old. It has some paint stains but is otherwise little the worse for all that wear. (Possibly unlike its owner and his partner.)

I suppose Mr J can at least congratulate himself on still being able to fit perfectly comfortably into his thirty-year-old sweatshirt.

We always were a stylish couple.

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