Friday, 11 November 2011
The Muff Coat from Florence
Nuti dragged me there though I had no wish to leave the warm house. That was Nuti, always dragging me off course, always putting a drink in my hand, wearing down my thoughts. As usual I was doing the parking, I was pushing a pram. This was long before Nuti became the late mother of twins clapped up in the Tuscan hills.
A huge hall, a vintage market. That smell from my grandmother’s cupboard.
We didn’t agree of course. I found an Audrey Hepburn coat. Shiny silver buttons and a brash Prince-of-Wales weave, a hyper red in there that I knew I could pull off.
But Nuti dragged me to another stall where she pulled out the ultimate rock chick coat. It was original 1970s from Pakistan - tan sheepskin outside embroidered to within an inch of its musty life, with rough cave-woman fur within. More luscious woolly fur spewing out at the sleeves and neck.
A perfect fit. A life of sexy rock chicks on my shoulders.
‘You’re not leaving that here!’ said my six-foot swimming-shoulders friend. ‘There’s no way!’
It didn’t come cheap. The guy handled it with pride. I saw a vision of what I see from intercontinental planes - a horizon of dusty hills and, somewhere, a woman with coloured thread and calloused fingers. Whole months of chatting, laughing labour.
I could also see another woman in Chelsea wearing it naked underneath. Mmmm, fetching.
The Muff Coat, Nuti named it. And every winter, as soon as there is snow, my muff coat seems to inhale and expand, to breathe even, taking on its own life. Inside the fur is scratchy but hellishly warm, encouraging the slinkiest clothing underneath. It is the sexiest garment you could imagine.
Talk about notches on my bedpost.
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MANY MANY THANKS TO ETHER BOOKS WHO HAD ME AS WRITER OF THE WEEK RECENTLY
THANK YOU ALSO TO POET JOHN SIDDIQUE WHO POSTED MY CULTURAL DIARY ON HIS BLOG