A slightly strange experience this morning: at the pelican crossing having just got off the bus to work, I found myself standing next to myself of fifteen years ago. She was slightly shorter than I am, but I was shorter then. Same long black coat – the weirdness was emphasised by the fact that I was wearing one in the present day, as with the exception of a brief period around 2002, I have owned a series of ankle-length black coats since about 1993. They are supremely useful in wet winter weather – same black felt hat with peak (I still have it), similar trousers. Same hair, mine a trifle curlier, but same essential style. Similar face and good jaw, same skin – I really didn’t appreciate the good skin I had aged 20 and a bit before I didn’t have it any more. I have good skin for my age now, but let’s face it, “for my age” is a qualifier at this point.
I don’t remember exactly which bonfire night it was that I wore that exact same outfit walking four miles (and back again) to the Knavesmire to see the firework display in the pouring rain (everyone else was far too sensible). My feet got soaked, but the coat and hat worked.
She was a slower walker than I am. I can walk fast and daydream simultaneously.