Pops doing his bit for WOVEMBER

Yesterday we made an impromptu visit to my parents’ house. My Pops – asking after things – was thrilled to learn about WOVEMBER and promptly disappeared upstairs to return moments later wearing an outfit which included a commendable quantity of 100% WOOL.

I was very touched by the enthusiasm with which my parents embraced the concept of WOVEMBER; they happily furnished me with some old camping stoves for use in my outdoors WOOL-dyeing area, and browsed all the wonderful photos folk have submitted to the WOVEMBER GALLERY with great interest. I feel the WOVEMBER directive to wear as much WOOL as possible during November appealed especially to my Dad, who seemed delighted to get some praise for the marvellous ensemble he has put together after the fashion of John McCririck. The outfit includes one jacket which I think Pops has had for many years;

one deerstalker hat which is made from 100% WOOL;

…and one pair of tweed trousers which I gather were an ebay bargain. Pops has stylishly matched these items with a wide pair of braces and a shirt, the fibre content of which I did not check. (Bad me!)

I fear that unfortunately for Pops the association with McCririck and that particular horse-racing pundit’s appalling views on women has not endeared his new outfit to my Mother.

However I feel strongly that it is not the misogyny of McCirick that my Pops is aiming to evoke, but rather his distinctive identity as a Gentleman of the English Countryside.

Pops works as a GP in Shirley,which is a leafy suburb in Croydon. There are no cattle or sheep roaming about, no old stone bridges covered in moss, no wind-battered and ruined barns, and a pronounced lack of decent mountains. Yet these are the precisely the things which my Pops lives for, and I know this because his enthusiasm for aching legs, rain-on-the-face, soggy tea drunk out of an enamel cup and the victorious feeling of having made it to the summit of some god forsaken crag shaped my childhood and have had a profound effect on the person I have become.

I love that Pops is symbolically claiming his identity as a creature of the hills and dales in spite of his entirely suburban situation, and I am proud of his rebellion against the restrictive social conventions surrounding how men in jobs in cities should dress. As if to emphasise the imaginative and playful nature of his experimentation in donning 100% WOOL Tweed garments, Pops insisted on adorning one of his lapels with a WOVEMBER Tweed badge.

Well done Pops for wearing WOOL this WOVEMBER!

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