Thursday, 3 January 2008

My New Love

Some time over Christmas I decided that what I really wanted was a duffel coat.

I can’t remember how this came about – I must have seen someone wearing one in the bitter cold and thinking, ‘that would be good for dogwalking’.

Not only would it be long and snuggly and warm, but I could wear layers underneath it, it would keep out the wind and the wet and – this is of utmost importance as a dogwalker – it would have big pockets.

Big pockets are essential for us dog owners. When out walking I need poo bags, dog biscuits, hankies (this weather makes my nose run), keys (house and car on one ring) and if I remember, phone. If I’m really organised I might have paper and pen in case I think of something pertinent to what I’m writing (I usually do when out walking and if I wait till I get back to the car I inevitably forget) and a few business cards. Just in case I happen to bump into someone who might be looking for a passing writer. You never know.

But back to the duffel coat. This idea grew over Christmas until by the day after Boxing Day I decided to tackle the sales in Truro.

Not unusual you may think. Wrong. I never shop unless I really have to and I have never been to the post Christmas sales. Never.

So it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I set off, accompanied by a bemused mother who doesn’t like shopping either but was lured by the promise of Waterstones.

To my surprise we managed to park in Tesco car park at 9.30. By 10 I had had enough. We’d scoured the only shops that might have a duffel coat only to find either they didn’t have any, or if they did, they were a size 22.

As we were by this time in Marks and Spencer, surrounded by millions of people searching racks of hideous clothes, I suggested we went to the café. There I queued for 20 minutes for two coffees. I think you can probably guess how I was feeling by this time.

We then went to Waterstones and spent a happy half hour browsing books and returned home with 3 for 2. But no coat.

The next day Mum left and I set off into town that afternoon to replenish food supplies. Walking through town, I called into an old fashioned clothing shop and found a gents duffel coat (no women’s) which came down to my feet almost. It was beautiful wool, German made. Cost £175. I blanched and hurried out.

Then I passed the Hospice charity shop and popped in. A friend was working there, so we had a chat and I felt duty bound to have a look.

There on the coat rack was a green duffel coat with yellow wooden toggles. It almost had Flowerpot written all over it. Admittedly it was a size 12 and I’m an 8 or 10, but I reasoned I’d probably be wearing layers underneath it anyway. I tried it on. It wasn’t that big. I bought it.
It cost me £8.

And since then I have worn it every time I go out. It feels just right. I don’t care what it looks like – it feels wonderfully snuggly, and I can wear a fleece underneath if it’s really cold.

And of course, it has great big pockets. Because you never know what you may need. Or who you might meet.


Beth said...

I love it when you find a piece of clothing that is so right for you. Mine is a lovely purple soft, soft wool scarf that matches my coat perfectly. I love it.

Philipa said...

I agree, I love my Barbour duffel coat - big pockets and wool lined. It keeps me snuggly and warm all over, and being nearly 6ft tall that's no mean feat. But I love Paddington Bear ones too and green/yellow toggles sounds fab, I bet it looks great :-) Have you a piccy FP?

Glad you mentioned poo bags, my father and I took the children along a paved walk by the beach and it was lined with dog poo the entire length. The walk is from a car park to a childrens playground but used by dog owners and I think it disgusting these selfish folk use public property, clearly designed for families, as a cesspit. I wonder how they'd feel if I took my children a nice walk to shit on their lawn!

Flowerpot said...

beth - that sounds wonderful!

Philipa - aren't they wonderful inventions! Hvent got a piccy at the mment - will try when Himself gets back. Think the camera's in the car. And yes I agree about poo bags. Some people are so darn lazy...

Katherine and Pippa, said...

I think it sounds great. I've always fancied a duffle coat but never found the "right" one. Green with yellow togs sounds idyllic. The price was even more idyllic.

I want to see a pic too.


Flowerpot said...

kate - I'll try and get one when the light gets better!

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

I love it when that happens!! HImself went out to buy a DJ a few years ago and got the lot in M&S but this was in the days before they accepted credit cards and he didn't have any other means to pay on him at the time so he left it all there. Went browsing the charity shops and picked up a second hand one for next to nothing! It didn't see out more than that do we were attending but's a good feeling!

Akelamalu said...

When you described the duffel coat I thought - Oooooh that's the one for Flowerpot! Great find at 8 quid too.

Flowerpot said...

aoj - oh how wonderful! I love it when you get a really good bargain, and I love kit even more that my duffel coat has a history - who wore it before me I wonder?

Ak - great minds think alike!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I love second hand stores (and yard sales) with a passion. Where else could you have found something so perfect with an extra added bonus - no guilt over the cost?

If you had somehow (and I doubt you would have)succumbed to the expensive coat, you may have always felt a little...bad about it. But this?


Ellee Seymour said...

That is certainly a bargain. I have a pink duffel coat, but without a hood. It is cosy.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It is amazing what we find isn't it. I'm glad you got one eventually. You were obviously meant to go into that charity shop - I wonder what you might have done had your friend not been working..

Happy wearing of the coat!

Crystal xx

laurie said...

oh, what a great post. i became enamored of duffle coats, too, on a trip to canada a few years back. i needed one!

i can't remember where i found one, but i have a nice warm gray one now, with a hood. i can wear it in the fall and early winter, and again in the spring.

but not this time of year. this time of year i need much, much warmer.

Sweet Irene said...

Yup, those are the best kind of coats to have for dog owners. Good job getting one so cheap and so comfortable! My coat has small pockets and I always lose the poop bags along the way. I must look for a coat like yours.

Flowerpot said...

RC - you're so right. I love bargains but I also love the idea that this coat had a life before it met me. And the fact that it cost so little is amazing!

ellee - a pink one sounds great but I do like a hood. Especially in these vile winds!

Crystal - yes a certain amount of fate attached to ti I think! n fact I saw one in M&S but they were either black or fawn (oh, NO!) and £80 so I'm definitely the winner!

Flowerpot said...

laurie - well, we don;t have your weather of course but Ive found putting a fleece on underneath the duffel coat is great as an extra liner for chilly days here. I'd need something warmer for your climes though.

sweet irene - happy new year and I hope you find the coat of our dreams - or at least one with big pockets!

Lane said...

What a fantastic find fp. It was just waiting for you!
I love duffel coats too and that one sounds especially lovely.

And yes, pockets ... big ones, are essential for the writing dog walker:-)