|Just to prove that the jacket still|
Monday, 2 June 2014
Or the alternative title is "We've been together now for fifty years".
I'm having a clear out: a serious clear out.
In 1965 the UK had a Commonwealth Arts Festival hosted by the City of Liverpool. I was seconded to assist in the running of it. My principal job, as I recall it, was to deal with protocol arrangements for dignitaries and others attending the many events from civic functions to theatre and other shows.
I have many fond memories including several opportunities to see full length professionally performed ballets (the first time I'd had such an opportunity and the start of my love of that art form). I was privileged to meet Ravi Shankar and hear him play.
I learned that the High Commissioners of the time for India and Pakistan were good personal friends despite their countries being at war and that the more important a person was in public life the less likely he or she was to care about pomp and ceremony and the importance of their own position. In other words I learned that in matters of protocol the people at the top didn't care and the people at the bottom (me for example) didn't matter but that the people in the middle cared enormously for their 'rightful' position in the order of things.
During the whole of this wonderful experience the evening suit that I had had to acquire for the functions was my constant companion.
The late sixties in the city were magical times in many ways. The age of elegance was still with us and at the many dinner dances and formal occasions that seemed constantly to occur the ladies wore long dresses and the men wore evening suits. The sixties were also contrasting times of great social diversity and experimentation in the city. Through all this my evening suit and I were faithful friends and companions.
When I moved to Scotland the less formal approach to life in the Western Isles meant that we rarely had the opportunity to be seen out together although we have fond memories of the 'posh frock dos' that friends used to organise during the winter. Despite the fact that for a few years now I have had a new evening suit my original DJ and I remained companions. Until today.
Today has seen a huge change in my life. The reality is that we will never be seen out together again. We are both showing our age and at any formal function now I am more likely to wear my kilt than I am to wear my new DJ.
So it was with great sadness that I decided to try DJ on for one last time before depositing him in a clothing bank along with many other items of my wardrobe.
The sadness was alleviated to some extent by the fact that I could still fit into the suit. Surprised? Impressed? I was - both. The shirt was a bit too tight around the neck I have to admit. And, just for the record, I would never normally have worn a pre-tied bow tie! In fact I have no idea where this one came from.