What to wear in the cold snap? The answer has been triumphantly supplied by a charity shop, from which I have bought a parka made, I deduce from a German inscription, for a tank commander in the 1960s. Square of cut and big enough not only to contain the commander, but his crew as well, it’s lined with sheepskin. The enormous collar buttons up to the ears.
The only difficulty comes when checking whether it’s safe to pull out on the Boris bike; presumably, the original owner, as he scanned the horizon for signs of a Russian invasion, didn’t need to look behind. My wife has acquired two fur coats from the same source. It must be safe to wear them these days: people would assume they were fake.
For the bike, I have a bright yellow garment, lightweight, but apt to steam up after vigorous pedalling. I therefore wear it tied around my shoulders like a cape. Gloves are essential, and I might start looking for the gauntlets I had in my motorcycling days.
Years ago, a countrywoman of mature years volunteered to me that she could never respect a man who wore a scarf or gloves. My English master at school despised raincoats. Pschaw, I say. Real men keep warm.