I didn’t know it at the time but as I was bending over to tie my laces
I split my old pair of Levis at the arse. Didn’t notice till I got outside
and felt the air. I hesitated – could I get away with going to work
with my arse hanging out? I went back inside, pulled on another pair
of strides. They’re old too, the hems split. What a raggedy arsed bastard,
and me at my age. So that was the new year’s first major purchase. Jeans.
Then I saw a copy of The Rebel Angels by Robertson Davies in the Mind shop,
and had to get that. And today, at Treadwells, there on a seat in front
of the Medieval literature section, with the Confessions of Isobel Gowdie
sticking out from the shelf like a rude tongue, I saw Oral Folk Tales of Wessex
by Kingsley Palmer. 1973, a year I like – it’s got a nine, a seven, a three
and a one in it, all powerful numbers. And now I must stop, and tie my laces.
illustration Nick Victor