Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Way There

I got back from McEdinburgh late last night, after visiting McMum to help out a bit. I have a bushel of bow ties to put on eBay and some of McDad's wonderful stylish tweedy clothes to flop about in, although they are two sizes too big.
It was sad to be clearing out and giving away clothes that belonged to my father. There are big bags for the charity shop full of shoes and some very worn-out clothes that nobody would want apart from McDad.
The strangest thing was finding a half-finished dress that McDad's McMum was making, folded up, part in pieces, part sewn up. It has a scent of her- not exactly lavender, I'm not sure what it was, but it's there, folded up in the delicate patterned layers of cotton.

On the way up by train, a very friendly used car salesman got on at York. He was in full Muslim dress, and he was on the way to McEdinburgh pick up a disabled vehicle he'd bought off eBay. We talked small about many things: the best place in the UK to go on holiday (got to be Northumberland), children, Billy Ocean, apples and, of course, cars.
He had helped a Pakistani tourist with his cases. 'Did he say thank you?', I asked. 'No', he laughed,' but I told him it's not like Pakistan here; your cases won't get nicked'. I told him about my brother and sister-in-law getting all of their Christmas presents stolen in a case on their way up to Perthshire on Christmas from a stuffed train, and he looked bemused.
Later, the Pakistani tourist was getting off the train, behind one of those meringue ladies with a stately bust, powder-pink face, pearl earrings and solid pale grey rococo curls. 'I--HELP--YOU', he barked, and hoisted the lady's case out of the luggage rack and into her surprised arms. So he did a good deed in exchange for being helped, and also, I found out moments later, thanked my travelling companion.


Blogger Brother Tobias said...

It is odd, that disposal of clothes. They seem so much part of us, and I half feared meeting someone in the street in Portree, dressed as my father. But clothes, beds and bedding were once all many people had to pass on in their wills.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Helen McCookerybook said...

Well, BT, I am taxed by the thought that wearing some of McDad's clothes might be a little odd; I compare the thought with meeting a chap who is wearing some of his mother's clothes.
I have periodically inherited clothes from my brother and also McMum and McDad, whose holey shirts mended in contrasting colours made me the envy of my Art College friends.
How else could I get hold of a McCallum tartan shirt?

8:52 PM  

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