Jumpers.

Fleur writes about wearing jumpers and what is says about those who do.

As we sit in the snow in April, my husband and I, watching its cold downward journey onto the buds and grass of spring I realise we are turning into a parody of our selves.  Its our jumpers you see. They are the dead giveaway. We are a couple who wear jumpers in all seasons. Slightly shapeless, warm wool, patterned, knitted, in blues, browns, oat meal, beige and greys.  In our drawers we have brighter oranges, purple heather and steel blue jumpers with patterns to please any Nordic, Shetland, Fair isles or Highland convention. Our children are complimented on their retro Guernseys. Retro? They aren’t retro, they were knitted by their grandmother in the 70’s.  Although a few have been replaced at the cuffs and collars. In slightly different coloured wool of course.

The smart, together, focused world does not wear jumpers.  The young who visit are clean and have sharp lines.  They have neat houses and tidy gardens and go on holiday to successful places with neat and fresh faced parents. They still know how to grab the world by its horns.  They are so clear and focused. When it snows they turn the heating on. They dont just put on the extra jumper. They haven’t yet turned their backs on getting on in life. We on the other hand aspire to look like sheep. A curious aspiration.

I don’t even knit, yet when I see the TV sit com like the darkly comic Flowers, starring Olivia Colman, as she and her depressive husband become odder and odder till shunned by society.  Or look at the supposed “posh” couple on goggle box, not Steff and Dom who are rich, but the shabby looking pair with the green bamboo Laura Ashley wall paper, I see ourselves as well. Gently drifting rudderless among a pile of books as we disappear into our own minds. My husband lives mostly in the eighteenth century, while I am suddenly inspired by ancient classical civilisation in Turkey. We both work using our brains, professionals to the core but lifting a mirror up I spy the unwelcome jumpers, with egg stains I notice down the front. Do our friends look like us, I wonder, wooly sheep to the core, as I fight the rising tide of cardboard boxes in the sitting room, inherited clutter in the bedroom and endless dust of ages which enters the house. It all goes with the jumper look. We read, eat, garden and make love in a gloom of denial, in our cold and cluttered house, wearing jumpers. As the snow settles outside, at the end of April, we both go and put on another woollen layer. It is what The Jumper People do

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