Sunday, 28 December 2014

The spirit of Christmas present(s)

Well, I don't know about you but Christmas 2014 went past in something of a blur for me, albeit a very enjoyable blur at that.  Now here we are already but three days away from 2015.  I blame the weekend, personally...  Actually I feel the real reason in my case was a combination of putting up the Christmas tree a week late on the 20th due to a head cold the previous weekend and working up until the afternoon of Christmas Eve.

Anyway I ended up having a lovely Christmas Day at my sister's (she does read this, so hello Sis! if you are - thanks again for the dinner and pressies!) where I was able to play Monopoly with people who actually wanted to for the first time in years (discovering my 19-year-old niece has usurped me as the family Monopoly Champion), enjoy a delicious roast beef dinner and listen to my brother-in-law's Hoagy Carmichael collection.  Bliss!

But of course, you'll want to see what presents I received!  Let's have a look, shall we?

My parents have been in Pittsburgh, PA visiting my aunt & uncle since the beginning of the month and aren't back until after the New Year, so as an early Christmas present mater bought me this spiffing wool jacket when we were browsing in the local TK Maxx (some impressive bargains to be had in that store if one's willing to sort through a lot of stuff) a few months ago.  It's been worn often in that time (including on Christmas Day itself) and is fast becoming a staple of m'wardrobe.

However one thing that has long been missing from the same is an overcoat of similar [earth] colours for days when I'm in a country mood and wearing greens and browns (currently I have a number of blue/black coats only - plus the heavyweight 1940s Kaufmann's full-length wool jobby from m'aunt, which is too good for day-to-day wear).  It looked like being a long and ultimately fruitless search for an inexpensive brown or green ¾- or full-length coat that wouldn't risk making one look like Arthur Daley/Inspector Clouseau/a flasher, until an old favourite online emporium - Samuel Windsor - came to the rescue with their Country Coats sale.  Now the splendid-looking Bedale Tweed coat is winging its way to me as I type.

Just prior to Christmas I'd also order some new woollen ties from the same source, with a view to further augmenting my autumn/winter wardrobe.  I already have a few secondhand [skinny] woollen ties, which have stood me in good stead over the years, but I fancied some more [wider] ones including one or two in blue - an underrepresented colour in my tie collection's palette.  SW were able to oblige with four in very pleasant colourways - including a Navy and, interestingly, "Air Force" blue.

The fourth tie - not pictured here because I'm currently wearing it - is called Corn
a nice green-gold that will go well with both greens and browns.

As I may have mentioned my new office has a very relaxed dress code; fortunately that includes a relaxed attitude to me flouting it (showing them the way, more like!).  I initially took the opportunity to break out my cravats but as winter began to bite I started missing my ties.  I've always felt that woollen and knitted ties are more informal, so now I'm glad to have a few more from which to choose during these colder months.

My first work Secret Santa was a jolly affair and proof that they've "got me pegged", as my manager put it, as I received this nice little lapel pin in the form of Morgan Motor Cars' crest.  Quite an early example, too, dating from the 1940s so I'm told (the "secret" part of Secret Santa falling by the wayside somewhat when we all had to guess "who got who" at the end of the proceedings!).

Finally, my sister came up trumps again with a copy of Cooking For Chaps, the new cookbook for chaps and "the man about town" by editor of The Chap magazine Gustav Temple and professional cook Clare Gabbett-Mulhallen, plus an apron and tea-towel set featuring a splendid quote from Roderick Field - "Tea is the finest solution to nearly every catastrophe and conundrum that the day may bring"!  Quite right too! 

That's it from me for now; I'm looking forward to seeing what other vintage bloggers were given by Father Christmas, and to the forthcoming new year.  Plus I hope to have a few more posts up before 2014 draws to a close, which - along with all those for 2015 - I can't wait to start writing.


  1. Well, well..
    I see your Chrismas was a success! :)
    I'm glad to hear your office has a relaxed dress code (mine as well), and allows you to wear what you feel suits you best.
    Cookbook looks amazingly sharp - I wonder what's inside (any chance you snap a photo of the book?!)



  2. Splendid things! That overcoat is particularly nice. We have no dress code at all at work, which means most people come in wearing jeans and T-shirt - my midcentury looks do stand out a bit, but I don't care.


Don't just sit there, type something! I enjoy reading all comments.


Popular Posts