If you were to pass me in the street, you’d probably think that I look like the average, mild mannered, rapidly ageing, peri menopausal maiden, if a little frosty about the edges.
But I have a secret life.
I’m a very adept, dedicated, highly skilled, sniper.
Not the kind that fires semi automatic weapons at passing civilians, of course. Although in the neighbourhood I live in, it’s not unheard of and sometimes a prudent course of action if you’re carrying a designer handbag, the latest iPhone or even a six pack of Fosters.
I’m one of those really annoying people that goes on eBay and just when the last seconds of an auction are ticking away, jumps in at the last moment and bids for your item, and usually stealing the deal right from under your nose.
But I don’t do it to annoy. I’m kinda of addicted because it’s (a) something to do, (b) a cheap(ish) thrill and ( c) I’m hunting, not wabbits, but super warm, beautiful cashmere goods.
I’ve always wanted a 100% cashmere coat, but would never stump up for the price of a new one, as, rather like buying a new car, it’s one hell of an investment and loses value the minute you walk it out of the shop. Plus, I’m unemployed. So I peruse eBay just waiting for the right item to pop it’s head up, then I can monitor my target and wait those 45 seconds at the end of the auction to strike.
And it’s turned into something of an obsession.
Especially when something I want is elusive or in short supply, then I’ll usually end up hunting it down to some small village in the Cotwolds and demand to buy it, which is why I ended up driving 40 miles to a small exclusive boutique the other day to purchase a beautiful mohair car coat that I hadn’t even tried on, as it was the last size 10 in existence. Fortunately it fit me, but to be honest I barely ever go out anymore, haven’t worn it yet, and not sure when I will, so quite why I felt compelled to buy it right now I do not know.
But it’s winter, cold, and as a tallish person with long extremities I always get the urge to swathe myself in warm sumptuous layers to protect me from the weather. I’ve always been quite a sensuous person too, so am very attracted to natural fabrics that feel good against the skin. Cashmere, wool, mohair, brushed cotton, alpaca, you name it and you’ll find me buried under a pile of it come October through to March.
And in the summer, when the weather is hot (ha!), cottons, silk, linen and light denim make up the majority of my wardrobe.
I’m not rich or a snob, it’s not about that. I love brushed cotton as much as virgin wool, but I can’t abide anything unnatural, itchy or sweat inducing against my skin, but nice fabrics and yarns feel like caresses to me, which probably boils down to the fact that in my day to day life, I am rarely physically touched.
Of course I get light, air kissy, mwah mwah embraces from my London friends when I meet them, but apart from when I see my family, it’s rare that I am on the receiving end of a proper embrace, let alone a cuddle. And when you see photographs of me with a group of people, I’m always slightly separate/aloof from the group, even if I’m liked by them, as ironically from a body language point of view, I strongly suspect that I put out an untouchable vibe, when I’m probably more in need of physical contact than anyone I know.
And don’t even get me started about sex. The thought of it is just unimaginable to me right now.
There is no doubt that I am lonely, isolated, and as a result I have built myself a very comfortable, homely fortress here in South London, and with it’s plush carpets, log fire and cosy nooks and armchairs strewn with throws, it would be the ideal little sanctuary to come home to.
If I ever went out that is.
And as much as I love and appreciate my home and the garments that make up my wardrobe, there are times where I’d be willing to set a match to the lot of it in exchange for a cuddle from someone who loved and will love and take care of me until the day I die.
But until that person comes along, if they ever do, I will stay here snug in my lonely bunker, behind the blanketed barricades, scanning the horizon for something that will kill the pain.
If only for sixty seconds.