Friday, 22 November 2013

Winter warmer

On the cold winter nights of my teenage years, pyjama clad and with cheeks still rosy from the hottest of baths; I would scurry downstairs to bask in the glow of the open fire, or sit with a book, back pressed against the radiator, to soak up the warmth before braving the chill of the hallway .
Thick woolly socks were the natural choice to keep the cold from creeping through my toes, and an old fisherman's jersey belonging to my father, to swathe my body in warm familiarity. I loved that jumper, with its slightly unravelling cuffs, flecks of colour amidst the grey, and  faint aroma of apple tobacco. It was a fail safe for wintery nights; or for those days when the chill seeped under my skin and I arrived home from school pale faced , with teeth chattering and feet like ice. I guarded it jealously, keeping it in my drawer during the long days of Summer; bringing it out to lie at the foot of my bed as the days shortened and the frost on the grass welcomed in the chilly Autumn days. 
When I headed off for university, however, I chose not to take my beloved jumper with me.... It was a house garment, too bulky to pack, too parochial, I reasoned to myself..... so I left it, with the promise it would once again swathe me in warmth when I returned at Christmas. That was the last time I ever saw it; I arrived home for the holiday to discover my mother, in an act of charitable kindness, had given my jumper away!!
 I still recall its frayed cuffs and slightly flecked wool with fondness; but above all it is the faint aroma of apple tobacco I miss the most.

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