Ali’s leading me up the garden path.

I kicked off my heels and what Sylvester calls my ‘office drag’ and slipped on a more casual outfit after work, as I often do. A change of clothes and I am already leaving the stress of work behind.

After work I put on the kettle and settled into the garden chair in the late summer sunshine. My garden is a great joy to me after a hard day pretending to work at an advertising agency.

Watching the sun sparkle on the little fountain that bubbles away in the pond, and enjoying the sight of lighting glint off the muscled contours of Ali’s shoulders as he kneels weeding the flower beds, I feel the tiniest sensation of guilt at the enormous level of privilege I enjoy. I sipped my tea, and poured one for Ali, who joined me at the wicker table.

He is such a delight to chat with. This afternoon he told me the most extraordinary story of his cousin, who works on a cruise ship.

“It was when the ship was being repositioned that he had the accident,” said Ali.

“The accident?” I replied.

“Oh yes, he lost his leg. Ice skating can be very dangerous,” he continued.  

“How on earth,” I queried, “can you loose a leg ice skating. And you say he was on a cruise ship?”

“When they were repositioning the ship he would go to the skating ring which they had on board. The crew are allowed to do that sort of thing when there’s no guests aboard. The swimming pools are virtually empty and things like the skating ring still have to be kept cold, so he’d go down there when he was off duty, and skate in the empty ring. This particular time the ships stabilisers weren’t working and the weather was very stormy. Evidently the pitching of the ship while he was in the deserted skating ring was more than he could handle.”

“And he lost his leg like that? I can’t imagine how you could loose a leg skating.” I said.

“Oh, it wasn’t the fall that did it. It was the frostbite. They didn’t find him for two days.”

“My god,” I said. “Life at sea really can be dangerous.”

The trouble is, while Ali’s language skills are a little trying at times, I really do doubt the content of some of the things he tells me. Last week he was insisting that some growers of bonsai trees in Japan hire dwarfs to trim them. Just for ceremonial purposes, or so he says. Little Bonsai lumberjacks. My suspicion is that this may not be true. And yet, skepticism is such an ugly trait. What is a gurl to do!

However, none of that is why I am writing today. The latest episode of Clothes Maketh The Man is out. You can find Part 65 HERE.

Thank you so much to all my supporters. I greatly appreciate the help you give me, which has allowed me to write Clothes Maketh The Man for over six years now. I’m not planning on stopping anytime soon.



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