Friday, October 25, 2013

The Tescopolis Jacket

There is a brief window of opportunity in the fall to wear the Tescopolis jacket.

It’s not a particularly distinctive coat.  It’s a navy blue windbreaker of some comfortably smooth manmade fiber, perhaps a size and a half too large.  We didn’t have much time when we were shopping for it.

We spent a couple of weeks in England two summers ago, visiting friends.  We had a grand time – we saw a good chunk of the southwest corner of the country, for example, and I posted stories and photos of our trip (as well as the time we spent in Sweden visiting other friends) here on the blog.  It was chilly for summer – back home the temperatures hovered just slightly north of 100 degrees Fahrenheit for much of the time we were gone (brutally hot for Wisconsin), but in Sweden it got into the 70s a couple of times and in England it never topped 64.

We were glad we brought our jackets.

One of our side trips while we were there was to take a train to London, and that was the last time Kim saw her jacket.  A new jacket was needed, in a hurry.

So Julia took us over to the nearby Tesco, which is a giant supermarket chain in the UK.  I love going to grocery stores in foreign countries, just to see how different they are and what people like to eat on normal days.  You can get hard cider in 3-liter bottles at Tesco. 

This particular Tesco was huge, even by American standards – Julia referred to it as Tescopolis, since it was roughly the same size as many of the surrounding villages.  It had two floors.  On the top floor they sold clothing, and eventually Kim located a jacket that fit, more or less, and she wore it for the rest of the trip.

When we got home she forcibly removed my jacket and made me dispose of it.  I’m not sure why, except that words like “ratty,” “threadbare,” “embarrassing,” and “homeless” entered into that conversation somewhere.

So I inherited the Tescopolis jacket.

It’s very comfortable, and it’s good down to about 35F in its unlined state.  There is no felt lining in the sleeves to grab at my shirt, which puts it one up on a different successor to my old jacket that went by the wayside a couple of years ago.  I have a different new jacket to wear when it gets colder, one that is also very comfortable, but as long as the weather is autumnal I'll wear the blue one.

Mostly though I like it because it reminds me of a time and a place – a market in a foreign land, a stone house filled with friends, a rainy cool summer far away.

It only looks nondescript if you don’t know the story.

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