I may have mentioned before that I have a total lack of sense when it comes to fashion. It is like a foreign language to me. When I was a small child, about that age when you think anything is possible, before the harsh realities of life and one's own shortcomings are realised, I had delusions of becoming a fashion designer extraordinaire.
One day in the summer holidays when my parents were at work I found an old pillowcase that had been thrown to one side for my dad to use as rags (Why do all men need oily rags? Even the ones that aren't conversant with car engines or large machinery. Why does looking at the washing machine whilst scratching your arse and pretending you know what the problem is require an oily rag?).
Anyway I decided that my Dad had enough oily rags to supply a Formula One pit crew so I commandeered the threadbare pillowcase and my mother's sewing box. What I came up with was a crop top affair and matching skirt made from pink flannelet. I couldn't sew so there was no attempt at hemming, I just roughly hacked it into shape with a pair of blunt scissors, cut holes in the "top" for my arms and head and tied the "skirt" at the side over my hip. Remember the cave women in the Lynx adverts a few years ago? Imagine the urchin child of one such women and you'd be pretty close to what I looked like.
Pleased with my attempt at fashion design, off I went out to find my mates. After an afternoon of farting about in the park, I returned home to find my fire-breathing mother, who was already miffed that I'd "borrowed" the sewing box. This, however, was soon put into perspective when the vision of me in all my frayed, pastel glory finally registered.
"Please tell me you haven't been out wearing THAT!"
My memory of the events that followed is merely a blur. I suspect my subconscious has repressed the whole business from my mind as it would be too traumatic to recall. I do remember that I was watched closely when given clean sheets to change my bed, and pillowcases were counted in and out of my room much like a surgeon's instruments during an operation.
Jamie has now taken to asking for the sewing kit. I recently found an old pair of her stripey punk socks that she had attempted to turn into fingerless gloves. I have hidden the sewing box and begun taking a weekly inventory of the bedding.