My parents are buying me a new winter coat for my birthday present, as my dithering about what I wanted was getting on their nerves almost as much as the fact my big waterproof winter coat has a faint aroma of marine diesel and horse no matter how many times you wash it. And I need something a bit longer and respectable to wear to work.
But I do love that coat.
It’s an ancient insulated Trespass jacket, boys 15-16yrs, and it was bought back in 1998 after someone was late collecting me from the Centre and found me a delicate shade of blue. It has withstood years of rigging boats, repairing boats, shifting boats, and being left carelessly on top of boats. It was once chased across the beach after it got caught by a kettle.
It has a streak of black across the back, from when we went sliding down Mrs Robb’s hill and found the coal from the previous year’s snowman. It smells of marine diesel because John Ross and I learned the hard way about checking the top is screwed on properly before you cavalierly swing the fuel can into a rib. It smells of horse because my sisters have been stealing it to go riding in ever since I stopped going. There’s a rip on the inside lining repaired in bright blue thread from the last time I went to Gortin with Queen’s canoe club and caught it on the roof rack of the bus.
I think my favourite thing about it is that it’s red.