There there said Bear …

I have a confession, said I …

I have bear.  Bear is one year older than me.  Bear was my first ever present from my parents. 

At the time, bear was bigger than me and lived in my cot. When I found my first bed, bear was there. Bear, for never having been named, but bear, lives with me still.

Is bear a he or a she, I do not know.  Never asked. Never named. But bear.

Cannot say I loved bear all that much growing up, have no memory of holding onto bear, any photographs, or letters to such, but given the years and all the moves over the world, bear came with.

Times bear was nowhere.  I do not remember so I suppose bear lived in a cupboard, or a box. I do remember finding bear and putting said in my children’s cots, before they were given their own bears, a long time ago.  Bear was there, like a teapot that travels with you, or a photograph album that you hang onto for looking at once in a while.  Bear never seemed to be gone, or present sometimes, but bear was there.

All I can say, is with the years of adolescence, of growing and changing, as life took the pathways we do, I forgot about bear.  Bear I think, never forgot about me, because bear showed up, in my new country, in my new home, as if bear had always been there. I wonder how bear came back to me, I really do for I have no recollection of every having the conversation of ‘here is bear … take bear.’  Strange I thought to find bear in a box of all when I found myself here.  Wish I knew.  But it does not matter. Bear made the journey.  And now bear and I have a new relationship.  Bear is back in the cot, in the bed, in the reality of my life.

Guess bear has always been part of my journey.  When my mother had to leave her home, go to a retirement home after the death of my father, we tried to settle her into that place where she had lost all she knew, given away all she had collected and left with her new reality, and she mentioned one day, she had never had a bear of her own.  

 

For some this may seem insignificant. For me, now living so far from her, an inspiration to find and deliver every bear I could to take the place of me.  Every time I flew to her, at the airport, it was with a new bear – Harrods bear, Paddington bear, Eton bear, you name it, I was the bear supplier and bless her, each and everyone became her friend, to be put, ever so carefully on the chair, in order, for her to coo over in her last years. Bear friends. Huggable friends. I was compensating my not being there for her, with bears.  We both knew it, but we both accepted it.  Now they are all with me.

The thing is, life was very difficult when mom was no longer there to talk to about the bears.  And when others left, I sort of , and I don’t know how, found my bear again. Nights of total lostness, at my age, I would climb into bed (I have a bed I would say to myself, at least I have a bed) and bear would be there, stiff, worn, arm chewed by puppies, still both eyes though, and tuck myself in saying, night bear, (at my age) and wake to find bear there.

There, there.’ bear seemed to say. Stiff as ever.

There, there.’ I replied. You are still there.

I have a bear – almost sixty years old and most likely a vintage celebrity. But this bear is mine, and now with all the others (which I do not have on my bed I may add) but close.  Did I know that a bear would be with me longer than others? No.  Did I know that bear would find me, like now, and I can enjoy just having it around? Who knew?

Turns out I have been so fortunate.  To have a bear for as long as I have lived, a gift from my parents I can still cherish.

Mum, you got your teddy bears ( rather a few) and I always had mine.  Didn’t always know it. but thank you.

Do you have a bear like bear? We all need teddy bears, in whatever form, to be there when it gets tough – and when I go to sleep, at my age, I still say ‘night bear.’

And bear says…’there, there.’

Images Vectis auctions, totally teddy bears.

And she learns everyday … in the funniest of ways.

You know what they say about pride.  I am dealing with the before and after.

All I can say is I doubt those female icons possibly never had to deal with some of the things we Silver Streeters do.  Talking about pride we are.

So, in the huffy puffy way of ‘I need to do this for myself and ain’t gonna take that kinda of shit no more’, I looked around at the things I thought were bringing me down … and there was the little Mermaid Honda.  My farewell gift from now departed.  She is sweet I have to say, and got us through some situations, but we never bonded.  2004 model for starters, headlights so brittle the light barely shone through.  Had the battery issue, the whatever issue, and in one of my moments of ‘ain’t gonna take that shit no more’, I bequeathed her to another.  I will get myself a new car or do without (which is quite possible in London with public transport).  Done and dusted. End of an era Mermaid!

So imagine me yesterday.  On the bus.  Did I mention it was a crowded bus?  A long awaited for, crowded bus. As any normal woman would, the handbag, the kind of long strap bag that refused to stay on the shoulder and like the Greenwich meantime ball, crashes when you look down. Doable, but tricky when you have the groceries, dozens of them, in both hands.  The kind of my fingers are a distinct shade of purple weight grocery bags. Bloodless fingers. Cement bag grocery bags filled with sweeties and biltong for the army son.  And wine – we know how heavy those are.  Oh, did I mention the vacuum cleaner?

Handbag + grocery bags + vacuum cleaner.

Did I mention the cardboard box, flat pack style that fits not in the grocery bags for son’s sweeties?

Handbag + grocery bags + vacuum cleaner + cardboard box.

The narrow aisle meant casualties (and a bit of swearing English style … so rude!) I did not care, I was going to get home regardless of any future banning from bus.

And I did.  All fifty pounds of me and stuff.  Would have made the news but they were all focussed on Meghan’s new dress. And I was so bloody proud of myself.  Yes, I was hasty in my salute to Mermaid for sure, but I was thinking to myself, whilst vacuuming with new accessory – I did it.  All by my little self, and sometimes pride does not have to mean an achievement noteworthy of the Nobel prize, sometimes it’s just getting through the day, however the means, to do something you would never have done before. Had never done the bus and vacuum cleaner before.

I was proud.  Before the fall.  And am proud still, only in a different way, if that makes sense.

Don’t stop you hear – you are so worth it.

Image: Entity mag.

Divorce and the wedding ring issue.

I don’t know about you … but me?

It’s been a while now that I was left with a ‘you will be alright.’

And my marriage was over.  Two years of paralysis and fear, of times, hoping to just ‘go away’ or ‘what are you doing with the rest of your life?’ When the boxes are sealed, the papers signed and the thought of carrying on, at this late stage of your life, seemed entirely, impossible.

One of the issues women facing divorce in their Silver Street time is the question of the wedding rings.  Let’s face it, we have had the bands on our left hand for so long, the dent on our fingers are clearly visible.  The bands have worn thin over the years but more importantly, these bands are an integral part of our bodies, our psychological make up, they have been a part of us for decades. A symbol of our state, our relationship, our commitment – so when the marriage is over, what to do with the wedding rings?

I have thought a lot about this.  Interesting how many different people react to the same situation. One woman I spoke to literally took her wedding ring off the day her husband left and gave it to her daughter.  Another threw it in the river and yet another melted it down into a new piece of jewellery.  Those who somehow (and I am curious as to how they do it) went headlong into another relationship. happily ripped the wedding rings, now redundant to their new lives. I could not.  I could not take them off – forever it seemed – I could not make the gesture of removing my wedding rings. In my mind, I was not the one getting divorced, I was still married, in my mind, part of my life which I was not ready to change.

For a very long time I kept looking at anyone on the tube, on the bus, at their hands and sussing out the wedding ring situation.  Women, my age – wedding ringed, wedding ringless – and wondering about their stories.  The wedding band and eternity ring on my finger were my safety, and they stayed, for a long time. I was not ready.  How could I be if this was not of my choosing?

When my giver of my wedding rings re-married, I thought to myself. It is time – get over it and go ringless on that left hand. They should have a burial ceremony, a little coffin box for wedding rings that die when passion did. A hectic moment for sure.  My hand was bare, vulnerable, out of place with its nakedness.  For me, it was awful, not empowering.

For me, it seemed like I was advertising a new status, and not long after I stripped the relationship and tangible evidence of marriage, I found others thinking it an invitation.  I was not prepared at all. Neither wanted or invited the expectation of another in my life.  The reality was, I was still in love, still ‘married in my own eyes’ and still wanting to be the person I knew for the past thirty years. On my own now, I did have a choice in the situation – and in my eyes, choosing to wear the wedding bands took on a whole new meaning.

So I put them back on. I wear them still.  I may not be married to another, but I am still married to myself.  I like that feeling.  I want the time to grow and simply exist as I want to be, and that is committed, be it to myself or the one who is no longer committed to me.  Does that make sense to you?  I liked who I was then, and I like who I am now, after the drama, without the idea that I am on the market, available, ready for another experience.

It may change, who knows? My wearing my wedding rings gives me security, for myself.  Time to ponder living on my own until I am ready to change. May be soon, may be never but I am comfortable wearing the rings, content to be betrothed to me for a while. On my left hand is my wedding ring, my grandmother’s wedding ring and that of my mothers.  I am committed to all of them.

It is not a sad story.  If you are not ready to remove your wedding rings, don’t feel obliged to do so. They are part of who you are.  When someone does come along, seeing them, wanting to know more about you and you are ready to share you life, maybe then it will be the right time to take them off.  When you are ready.  Wearing my wedding rings is a message to my children that I still love their father, that I am acknowledging change but that most importantly, that I am now in a relationship with myself, growing, changing, facing life in this Silver Street time and happy.

I wear my wedding rings because I loved being married. I am not bitter and continue to honour someone who, in youth and life, I loved.  When I no longer feel that way, I will take them off, but only on my terms.

On my terms is what it is all about.  What do you think about it? 

Images: Pintrest,today,

Country garden guiding with horses, dogs and interesting people.

I volunteer.  Eight years ago, stranded in a small flat, disorientated and trying to adjust to a new life, I began my volunteering at the National Trust.  Why not I thought, having done my Master’s dissertation on the very subject, why not find a place close to me to offer my services and so my journey with Ham House, on the river banks near Richmond, began.

One little life saver. My contribution, voluntarily, to help others.  Volunteering takes the moving of self to the giving to others.  It’s great and you should try it. It’s heartwarming, freezing at times when I stand in the winter rain waiting, hoping no-one will turn up (and they do, dressed for the Artic, determined to have a garden tour) and off I go.  It is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.

Lately, in this phase of ‘I am going to recapture my life’ stage, I gave my car to my children.  Carless in London is not a problem, yet there are times, like getting to Ham, it involves a trek of note.  Hour on the bus to the Dysart Arms pub and then literally walking across fields to the house. Think winter, yes, it happens.  Today however, Summer welcomes the heavily laden, designer handbag and ancient computer laden madam to meander past brook, park, scary horses.  We eye each other as I negotiate manure and gnats. Stopping nevertheless to absorb the sheer beauty of Spirea, cow’s parsley, running water and greenery that makes the eyes blink. This is Pooh country, Enid Blyton country, little lanes, public footpaths, houseboats on river and buzzing of the largest bees I have ever seen. Bumble bees.

Did I mention the Copper Beech – plumes of purple amid the white blossoms?  Could get so carried away here!  Nature is intoxicating at times.  At Ham House, giving these tours about 17th Century life in England, I am honoured, and at times, surprised at the people I engage with.  A study in characters for sure, most of them foreign, visiting London, sharing their stories from all over the world. Today I met a couple from Norfolk and a man who worked for Scottish whiskey, to fall one day and wake eighteen months later from an aneurism. Starting a new life in a different way.

As I finished, a dear old ditty woman accosted me with a question about a particular plant.  Is it really what the label says? 

‘Umm … think so?’

‘But you should know.’ she insisted. ‘ I come here all the time and the labels are a little confusing.  Is this a 17th century specimen?’

‘Umm .. think so.’

‘Well.’  she said. ‘The problem is that one has salads and then the flower may change the entire taste, if you eat it, you don’t like it, and if you discard it, the flavour will change with the dressing.’

Say what!  I lied. ‘Of course.’ I said.  ‘The flower is edible, but with the given vinaigrette could alter the flavour.’ Even I did not really know what I was saying but she insisted that the salad leaves … oh my Lord … was not authentic to the 17th century.  Like the shape of the leaves, the colour of the roots … and all I could think was this dear ditsy lady was lonely.  Was this going to be me in ten years time?

 

Hope bloody not. Loved her all the same.

The tours over and she begins the walk back to Richmond, via Petersham nurseries to get her fix of beauty.

I volunteer because I get to live outside the norm of my little world.  To meet and learn from others.  To be in a place where history lives, films are made and true English life is tangible.  The bus ride back is another story.

If you are sort of struggling about life at this time, go and volunteer.  If you already do, I would love to know more about what you do.

The Chelsea Flower Show 2018

I don’t much care for the Chelsea Flower show, I remember saying once upon a time.  That is not true – I love Chelsea, it’s the rivers of visitors I find hard to navigate at times.

Since it’s inception in 1811, and current venue since 1813, Chelsea remains a landmark event in the world of Gardening. It’s huge.  It’s a must visit once in your life and has become the most popular garden event in the world.

While we wait for a week in May to indulge our gardening fantasies, to witness design gardens and mountains of blooms, what is new and what remains classic, the exhibitors and nurseries around Britain have spent months in preparation to showcase their best work.  A mammoth task.  Holding back the blooms to flower at their peak during the week, moving earth and creating designer gardens that have won the right to be there – all in search of the gold. 

Perfection.  Pure perfection.

The top favourite this year is Sarah Price’s Mediterranean, Monet inspired garden to take show design of the year.  I am particularly interested in Jonathan Snow’s debut entry, the Trailblazers: South African Wine Estate design focussing on Fynbos, from burnt earth to bliss.

The beautiful setting in London, the home to the Chelsea pensioners, allows one to glimpse into the lives of these extraordinary men, dressed in their finest red uniforms, they epitomise the traditional and respected, and one can visit the Coffee shop throughout the year (which I do) and love interacting with these individuals who have given their lives in service to their country.

The Chelsea Flower Show is the feather in the cap of the Royal Horticultural Society.  Be it your love for roses, alliums, delphiniums or whatever, you will find them at their finest – get the latest gardening tools, sip champagne as the sun sets over the many magnificent displays for it will be an excursion you will never forget.  And yes, the throngs are daunting, the multitudes of visitors at times a barrier to stand back and take it all in but nevertheless, be a garden lover or nature lover or simply a lover of beautiful things, in this case, living things, Chelsea is an event of the prettiest sort.

If you cannot be present, there will be many television programmes to highlight the beauty of Chelsea.  And did you know, just for a little extra bit of random information, gnomes are banned.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show/about-the-rhs-chelsea-flower-show/history-of-the-show

Images: country living, express, sporting class

Little girls being mommies …

On the bus home yesterday, two little girls were very serious about their ‘babies’ in the prams. Tut, tut they clucked, pat pat, they patted. ‘Sit still.’ they heeded the two younger, plastic, infants.

As prams go, these were the ‘ferrari’ versions of the real, expensive buggies. Handlebars that snapped up from parking positions, cup holders, even brakes – right down to the hoods with rain guards.

And I sat there smiling. How wonderful to see the care and nurturing taking place. How wonderful to see little girls playing ‘mommy’ and ‘baby’ going out for the afternoon. With all the modern day stuff going on, how refreshing to see little girls being, little girls, complete with curls and vivid imaginations.

When I was their age, I could only dream of such a beautiful pram. And I loved being ‘mommy’. Still do.

A good moment.

Image: The daily mail

 

 

When we are old and ugly … sorry, when we are old.

Cindy Joseph – Model

Chatting to a friend the other day, about getting old.  I said ‘ When we are old and ugly …’ instantly met with a … no, no, ‘When we are old.  Full stop.  We will never be ugly.’ And she is right.

We choose how we want to look and feel, despite the mature years. We choose.

We baby boomers are not for sinking into old age.  We are soaring into maturity. Could I say even, becoming the first generation that makes the mature years totally glamourous! I think so. All around us there are beautiful women in their fifties, sixties, seventies and beyond who are nailing in the confident, together, empowering and looking better than they ever have.  Think Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergman for example.  Then we have women like Cindy Jospeh, Yasmina Rossi and Carment Dell’Orefice who are inspiration deluxe!

Who would have thought it when we remember our mothers, aunties and grannies in their perms and twinsets and pearls?  Bless ’em.  Going to gym, doing yoga, partaking of the odd tweak, nip and tuck?  Not so much. Not the proverbial we.  Breaking of stereotype is more like it.  And you don’t have to embrace the grey if you don’t want to, but if you do … look at the possibilities. 

Nowadays women are facing the ‘gray divorce’, starting businesses from scratch, travelling more and finding their place in the world – they have been there for their children, their spouses and family and ultimately finding that ‘settling’ is not for them.  And not for us easy.

Must admit that life sort of bashed me around a bit in the last two years and I found myself going, ah what if the roots showed, what if the tracksuit was more comfortable … making an effort was an effort, and I needed the vegetate hollow to get myself back on track.  Happened faster when I was reminded that getting older did not mean letting go of who you are and how you look. And let’s face it, looking good is feeling good.  We have the mentors, the women who have blazed the path and this baby boomer is back on track.  Still going to wobble she knows, but starting with the never letting herself go when life lets her go.

Maybe you can relate.  For a long time, looking for new clothes was kind of blah.  I had clothes, practical clothes, clothes that maybe one day I would fit into again. Would go shopping and say .. right, first to get rid of all the old stuff … starting again … and not doing it. The wardrobe of settling.  Justifying the putting on of the odd pound, I needed the comfort food. Will change tomorrow.

Tomorrow arrived today. Went shopping and thought I need to be inspired and only I could do that, with the help of these incredible mentors.

Growing old, for sure.  Ugly … never. Owe it to myself, as you do.

Images bored panda, pintrest, telemetro

 

Humba Khale. Go well and to understand. And be understood.

Of moet dit wees ‘n stofdeeltje wat op die plaaspad beroer word en ‘n oomblikkie lank bestaan en weer gaan lê?

Of ‘n blink filofyn grassie wat ‘n oomblikkie lank die son sien voordat die skadu hom weer bedek, en sy blaartjies toevouw?

Dit is genoeg.  Dit is bestaan.

 

Elsa Joubert, ninety five years old, famous South African writer, has published her recent book, called ‘Spertyd.’   To beat a self-imposed deadline. A friend recommended I read this, thank you Marna, and I not only read it, but wished that everyone who has ever had to be with her mother in her last years, could.  Should.  I wish I had read this in my mother’s last years.

In all the taking care of my mother, the frustration, the worry and the knowing that time was short, I never really felt the devastation of growing old through her eyes.  Elsa makes it plain.  She is that age, and writes of the frustration of what it is like to lose everything, to be in a home where others die as regularly as meal times.

Brutally honest, humorous and poignant, she speaks of her own story.  Of being old and close to death.  The friends who were once there, and now gone, her husband.  All familiar lost yet not giving up. Not just yet.  Failure of body, prodding of medical, caring of strangers who become the lifeline of daily existence.  Frustrations and loss. Without complaining.

My mother never complained.  We were so adamant that she understand that selling her house was best for her, moving her to frail care was in her interest, having security and pills was essential.  Afternoon tea and trying to adjust was just the way it was.  Elsa speaks of the smallness of her reduced life, the going back when going forward is short, when being afraid is normal. Giving over and trying not to give up.  The uselessness of feeling valuable and counted for when all is shutting down.  And wondering about the purpose of it all, her life, her existence.  As I said, honest.

My mum is gone.  Many friends are struggling with the situation now.  They are exhausted and terrified at the same time. Children becoming parents and parents becoming children.  Elsa is never the child in her book, grateful for her family and acutely aware that her time has come, and gone but that her life counts for something. She makes the best of it, without regret.

She speaks for all who are there – at the end of the platform.

Humba Khale is a Zulu term for go well. Never goodbye but travel well.  This book shook me in a way that I always saw my mum’s life ending, but never as part of another journey where I cannot go.  I miss her still, but I am saying Humba Khale to her … and I am sorry I never really understood how it must have been, being removed, re-located, parcel in another chapter she wanted little part of. Without complaining – maybe we just get to that stage where we know others mean well and there is no point in fighting the inevitable?

What is our meaning, our purpose on this earth.

‘Or is it a speck of dust on a farm road, that stirs for a moment and then settles again? ‘

‘Or a shining tendril of grass that catches the sun for an instant before the shadow enfolds it again?

It is enough.  You exist.

Understand all, in youth and old age.  It will be your turn soon enough. Listen and remember the young girl in your mother and say ‘Humble Khale Mama’ – you were part of the universe and always will be.

Image: Dave Ross photography

 

 

Lieflingskos – My family’s recipes …

In all the moving over the past nine years, so many treasures have taken a severe beating – including my heart, and I have cried hot tears over ruined family treasures; water damaged Coffee books, moulded photographs and of course my collection of Recipe books.

I am the avid reader and once collector of recipe books supreme.  Who would forget the essential Wedding present from my mother-in-law ‘Kook and Geniet?’ (Cook and Enjoy) No self respecting new bride would be without one and believe me,  I needed it badly.  For one who never eats eggs, boiling one or unable to boil one was embarrassingly disastrous for me.  The most patient husband ever.

As the little ones grew, my home and garden and little family were all.  I was happiest with Iceberg roses in a vase on the kitchen island  and Delia Smith’s ‘Piedmont Peppers” recipe open on the page whilst darling was barbecuing outside.  I could do this!  Ended up being rather a dab hand in the kitchen thanks to the best friend recipe books.

And then there was my mother’s recipe book. Mom may not have taught me to cook, but she sure could bake.  Every Friday in our home, and I continued the tradition, was baking day.  Day for stocking the shelves; bowls of sweets and flowers throughout the house day. 

Truth be told, my grandmother was a baker rather than a cook also.  The Croxley exercise book handed down to me contains recipes they both loved, primarily baking, but also many Dutch recipes.  Over the years I added my own, with entries from Prudence, Philomena and friends …

Few escaped the move.  Heartbroken to pry pages stuck together, mouldy and forgotten in the garage for a too small kitchen in the flat. It was as if my heritage, my history and a happy part of my life were as mouldy and water logged as my favourite books were.

Which is why I am starting a new one!  No time like the present to create for the future and my children.  It is time to stop sobbing over what is lost and cherish was was, add to it and plan for those seventy cupcakes required when grandchildren have their birthday parties.  

This will be my Lieflingskos – my collection of loved food and memories.

It will be simply.  My Grandmother, My mother, mother-in-law, my housekeepers and my friends recipes will be restored and written about. With a story to share in the future.  More than capture their recipes I am adding our cultural favourites, Dutch and Afrikaans.  Add all the others I love, that marked a special occasion, tried and tested by my family.  It will be my gift to my children, just as I received from those I love and continue to be part of who I am.

As a gesture of just how awful I was as a young bride about to cook, I will share Delia’s recipe for Piedmont Peppers.  Still a favourite, always my first attempt. Yay!

PIEDMONT ROASTED PEPPERS

This recipe is quite simply stunning: hard to imagine how something so easily prepared can taste so good.

Its history is colourful too.  It was first discovered by Elizabeth David and published in her splendid book Italian Food.  Then the Italian Chef Franco Taruschio at the Walnut Tree Inn near Abergavenny cooked it there.  Simon Hopkinson, who at it at The Walnut Tree, put it on his menu at his great London restaurant Bibendum, where I ate it – which is how it comes to be here now for you to make and enjoy.


METHOD

Begin by cutting the peppers in half and removing the seeds but leaving the stalks intact (they’re not edible but they do look attractive and they help the pepper halves to keep their shape).

Lay the pepper halves in the lightly oiled roasting tray. Now put the tomatoes in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Leave them for 1 minute, then drain them and slip the skins off, using a cloth to protect your hands. Then cut the tomatoes into quarters and place three quarters in each pepper half. Watch How to Skin Tomatoes here.

After that, snip one anchovy fillet per pepper half into rough pieces and add to the tomatoes. Peel the garlic cloves, slice them thinly and divide the slices equally among the tomatoes and anchovies.

Now spoon 1 dessertspoon of olive oil into each pepper, season with freshly milled pepper (but no salt because of the anchovies) and place the tray on a high shelf in the oven for the peppers to roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Then transfer the cooked peppers to a serving dish, with all the precious juices poured over, and garnish with a sprig of basil leaves.

These do need good bread to go with them as the juices are sublime – focaccia would be perfect.

ADDITIONAL

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).

EQUIPMENT

For this it is essential to use a good, solid, shallow roasting tray, 16 x 12 inches (40 x 30 cm). If the sides are too deep, the roasted vegetables won’t get those lovely, nutty, toasted edges.
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Do you have a memory of a favourite recipe that captures your heart? 
Image:  Delia online

The quest for the missing smarty white pants.

Oh where oh where did they go?

It is that time again … the Silver Streeter is on the move. Late night packing for a three week trip and in my head I have it all planned out. Casual for daytime, cardigans for the evening chill and just the right outfits for the fancy events.  Check.

The thing is … oh yes, the thing is that sometimes there are these special items of clothing that take a backstreet in the practical cupboard for just such occasions.  And now for the life of me, I cannot find my fancy schmanzy white pants.  The special occasion white number … mmm … last wore it six months ago … mmmm did I take them to the dry cleaners?  Are they still there? Lordy, hope not!

Do you have just those items of clothing for the not ‘getting on the tube’ and everyday wear that you know are just waiting for the next outing?  Those gorgeous heels?  That special coat? The every dependable clutch that holds absolutely the bare minimum but looks good anyway? I do, some are years old but still just the thing for that special occasion.

I have the LBD – a few actually that wait for summer evenings.  My mother’s black coat. Michael Kors heels that would kill me on public transport and never date. A Jenni Button suit that I can barely fit into but hold onto for that … of course I will fit into it again one day. And the white pants.  Not your everyday kind but the very expensive kind.  In my mind I can see the ensemble, right down the perfect top, the dressy shoes and you know what I mean.  And do you think I can find them tonight when I have to pack? MIA they are and because it has been awhile, this madam cannot think where they would be!

Drama! Having moved more than a cuckoo bird of late, my clothes are suitcase familiar. Pack, unpack, pack and unpack again – and darling white trousers have fallen along the way. It does not help that I am limited in time, have a plane to catch and not a bloody clue! Damn!

This is what happens to the ‘Dry Cleaning only’ brigade. They go for extra care and in this case may be getting familiar with all the other uncollected items in the little store.  What is a woman to do?

I would love to say I left them post some romantic tryst but then who would leave without their pants in that situation? No.  Sadly no. I would have remembered or at least everyone else would have.

So where are you now my lovely? This is going to haunt me.  This is going to make me try and remember all the other lovely items I used to have for just that special occasion … and for the life of me I cannot remember where they are now.

Allors!  Time to get serious about those pants!

Anyone else been in this situation?

Image: Southern living.