Today I filled my flat with costumes. Fabulous costumes. 23 hand made distressed moleskine cream capes in all sorts of sizes. Waistcoats galore. Frock coats and military jackets and tweed tailcoats and hats. Bughead helmets and huge stovepipes and top hats and trilbys and britches and frilly shirts.
I am not very much at home at the moment owing to needy felines. So it’ll be a while before all this is sorted. But there’s huge potential here if channeled well. Before long I’ll be looking to rehouse the overspill. But right now I’m still in the giddiness of the new. I’m trying stuff on and making plans. Some of it is already earmarked for Carol, or for the ghost tours I’ll likely be doing in October. Other bits are earmarked for various friends and will likely find their way into shows and festivals and ceremonies and parties for decades to come. We’ve all worn enough costume to know the good stuff when we find it. And this is the good stuff. It’s brilliant that they’ve put it back into circulation, and I feel honour bound to be a conduit for it and either use it to help augment my own beautiful stories or to move it on to people who will. Makers, watch this space. I’ll need to do the inventory first. Another thing on the list. But once I’ve got a handle on it and on what I can sensibly use in the time I’ve got left to me, I’m gonna rehouse the rest.
These capes will be the first thing back round. They’re beside me as I write, stacked up on the sofa. I’ll sort them and keep no more than ten in different sizes for a strange idea I’ve had. The rest will be up for grabs before long, once things settle in catlandia.
I’ll be sleeping beside the capes tonight and it’s a testament to the place I picked them up from that they won’t disturb my sleep in any way. They’ve been distressed so they look worn and used, but whatever chorus of singing monks once filled the stage in them, their sweat has all been brilliantly washed away. They smell of nothing but the fabric. They are delightfully unstinky considering how thick they are. Thinking of such places as my old university costume cupboard, I know how theatre costume if not handled with care can quickly grow overbearing. This stuff is in great nick.
This load was the first test of my new XTrail. My big new set of wheels. “Bergman”. He coped very well. I tried to keep the load down when I was ordering, but I somehow overlooked that there would be that many capes. We got it all in, by the skin of our teeth. And then I unloaded it in portions over a few hours this afternoon and got it all into my flat.
One suit was immediately pressed into service for a self tape. It was the perfect material and look for a priggish sixties husband. I’ve got a good feeling about the tape.
Obviously it would be so much easier to triage this stuff if I lived in a house with loads of rooms and full length mirrors… Hey ho.