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3:43pm on Tuesday, 21st February, 2012:

New Scarf


Today, I bought a new scarf.

When I went to university in 1978, I bought a university scarf. In part it was because I needed a scarf, in part it was because I thought I'd look out of place if I wore a different kind of scarf, and in part it was because it was red and white on one side and black and white on the other — the colours of Hull Kingston Rovers and Hull rugby league clubs respectively.

Needless to say, most people didn't buy a scarf so I looked a bit out of place wearing it, but it did actually work well as a scarf. It was thick, wide, not too long, not too short, and I could tuck it into my jacket when the weather got really cold or windy.

A few years later, it developed a small hole. I bought a replacement, which was OK but made of artificial fibres and not so wide. I wore that for many years then spilled hot chocolate or something on it, that wouldn't wash out. I threw it out and reverted to my original. I would have bought a second replacement, but the university had stopped doing scarves by then.

Nowadays, I alternate between my university scarf and another scarf I wear when I don't want people to think I'm a university lecturer. My 34-year-old scarf is still going strong but it's lost a lot of its colour over the years and still, of course, has the irritating little hole in it. Last week, though, I spotted that the university was selling scarves just like it again, so today I bought myself one. Here it is next to the old one:

As you can see, the red is redder, the white is whiter and the length is shorter but not by much. Or, if your eyesight is bad, it's two strips of streaky bacon. Anyway, I'm going to set aside my old scarf and give this new one a test drive. If it works, my old scarf can go into retirement.

As for how I wear it, pretty much the same as Jean-Paul Belmondo in this photo, except without having the same effect on 1960s women.

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).