Friday, December 19, 2008

My old shirt


See this lovely shade of blue alongside -that is the colour of my favourite linen shirt which I've had for years and years. You know when you buy something that becomes your best thing to wear - you feel special in it and you know it suits you.You get lots of compliments when you wear it and, because you feel so uber-confident in it, good things happen to you when you have it on. Well, that was my shirt.

I was looking at it just now in the cold light of the winter sunshine that is making me want to clean the windows - even though I only did them last week (with these if anyone is interested). I had to admit that there is only so much washing and wearing that a linen shirt can take. It breaks my heart to do this -but I've just thrown it out.

I do feel sad about it - I know it's only a shirt, a material possession (literally) and I'm lucky that I do have lots of other things I love to wear but, still, it was my favourite thing.

Do you have anything that has seen many better days and you know it should go? Right now I'm fighting back the urge to retrieve it from the bin.

35 comments:

LadyFi said...

OMG - you THREW it out??!! Are you mad? Bonkers... Retrieve it immediately... You can use the material to make a cushion cover or a handbag or a gag - or something... In that way, you'll be able to preserve the memories...

I had to throw out a pair of jeans that I bought in Australia 20 years ago... I was sad, but grateful that they had seen good service for 20 years. I then had to retrieve them so that my kids could make shorts and patches out of them...

meryl's musings said...

Retrieve it -- maybe use it to wash those windows. Think how wonderful you will feel while doing drudgery!

French Fancy said...

LadyFi - I'm quite ruthless with clothes as a rule but for some reason stupidly sentimental about this shirt. It's not as if there are any 'love' connections with it - it doesn't remind me of anyone in particular. No, I must be strong and Resist The Call From The Bin

Meryl - hiya - I use e cloths - the best cloths in the world. I might be upset using The Blue Shirt as a cloth - better I let it go.

French Fancy said...

Makes a resolve to be extra strong in the face of comments to Save The Shirt. The rubbish won't be collected until Tuesday morning - I wonder how many reprieves it might go through :)

Lane said...

Save the Shirt. At least its buttons:-)

I have an old Gap bobbly jumper. There are holes and the sleeves are fraying. It's not going anywhwere:-)

Brother Tobias said...

It's lying there, in the bin. Discarded. Unloved. Christmas is coming, and a small tear appears at the hem as it remembers those Christmasses past, when it was loved as part of the family. Now? Now it will lie with strangers; a curtain, a carton, part of a cabbage. 'I'd hoped', it thinks,'I'd hoped at least to become a bookmark or two with the pinking shears. Or a draw-string bag for the Scrabble letters. But no; it is the incinerator or the cold soil of a foreign landfill for me.'

Save the Shirt!

Henry the Dog said...

Oh no. I feel really sorry for that shirt now, particularly after reading Brother Tobias' comment. I can hear it saying "...help me...help me...mummy where are you..."

Mum's actually quite ruthless with throwing things out too but she does have one pair of jeans which she's had since she was quite young. Mum never weighs herself but she keeps the jeans and tries them on from time to time. If they're too tight she starts doing those exercise DVD things,stops eating nice stuff and gets all boring and snappy for a few weeks. I wish she'd throw those buggers out, I truly do.....;)

PS: mum says do those cloths really work?

Blu said...

Poor blue shirt..If the cuffs have gone take the sleeves off and wear it as a sleeveless number next year. Use it in the car to wipe the steamed up windows????...oh boo hoo....poor linen shirt...it must have a use other than the land fill....You can even compost natural material too!

Moannie said...

Get it back! Now! Something that you love that much still has life in it, even full of holes, threadbare it can be used.

I speak a someone who cherished the green terry towelling robe of daughter number two. It was called 'the greem pumkin' 'cos that is what she looked like in it, all pink and warm from her bath. She used it from it being too long until it became a shortie, then I put it away for safety. During one move it disappeared to emerge in JP's back pocket as a general cleaning rag.

Never completely got over it.

laurie said...

save the shirt.

it takes up no room at all. and you're not a hoarder; it's just this one special shirt.

yes, i have clothes like that, too--comfy, mainly, not clothes that look good on me. sweaters i wrap myself in when it's cold, things my sister gave me before she died....

i get a bit sentimental about clothes, because when things happen to me, they're right there with me. (well, usually)

now go get that shirt.

French Fancy said...

BroTob - It's not lying alone - it's in the arms of two pairs of down-at-heel shoes and a jumper with a few holes in. But I can start to hear it whimper, if I listen carefully. Actually a Scrabble bag is a good idea because the one we use -and which I wash from time to time - does smell a bit strange,it always did.

Henry - yes, I've got jeans like that as well - my almost single figure ones that I haven't worn for quite a few years now :) I don't think I'd get them past my knees at the moment.

Blu - normally I pass my unwanted items on to Emmaus but these things were really no good to anyone. In fact about a year ago Mr FF said 'blimey, that shirt looks a bit wrecked; nice colour though, shame you can't get another one'.

It's such a lovely colour - I know there are trillions of blue linen shirts out there but I've not seen one in this exact shade - ever.

Moanie - hello, I did get carried away on your blog yesterday. I watched the Bridges of Madison County (for the first time all the way through) and felt a bit maudlin and your entry about your lovely daughter really got to me.

I love the sound of the 'green pumpkin'.

Mine could be called - the mouldy stained old torn shirt

Laurie - I know what you mean about sentimental clothes. When my mum died I was very ruthless at getting rid of most of her clothes - it was therapy really because I was so devastated. Now of course I wish I had hung on to more items. I've got all her jewellery but I threw out much too much. Mind you as she got older she hung on to things for far too long - as did my dad.

Still resisting going to the bin although a blue Scrabble bag would be nice.

Frankofile said...

Stay decluttered and ignore the banshee wailing here. You have the memories. The Stuff Must Go. (My daughters think I throw out ruthlessly. I even threw them out..)

Larry M. Brow said...

Blue Scrabble bag, blue Scrabble bag, blue Scrabble bag,...

But act quickly, so it seems like you're in charge and you can pat yourself on the back for "improving that unsatisfactory Scrabble situation."

Larry

p.s. Who knows, it might tempt you to play Scrabble more often. Besides, a good blue can be very therapeutic.

Mama said...

Save the shirt!, Save the shirt! my vote is for a scrabble bag!, (frankofile is too funny haha, threw out the daughters haha).
Thing is if you save the shirt! how are the down at heel shoes and the holey jumper gonna feel?, they already know the shirt is your fave, could be traumatic!, better go and get it all back!. Say's she who throws things away with wild abandonment quite regular, except my really tattered red winciette nighty with the scottie dogs, of course :) Kathy.

French Fancy said...

Frankie - yes, I must admit I feel quite pleased now it's later in the day and the shirt is still in the bin. Over lunch I made my announcement 'I've thrown my blue shirt out' but it didn't have the impact I was hoping for. Do you know I think Mr FF was more interested in what was for lunch :)

Hiya Larry - we do love playing Scrabble actually.I've gone off the bag idea now because I'd look at it and remember when it was my favorite shirt.

what I've decided to do is write to the clothing firm Betty Barclay (whose shirt it was) and tell them about my problem and see if they can source the factory for me that supplied the linen. I do like a challenge - although I got the shirt about 15 years ago so who knows if it is even still in business (the linen supplier, not Betty Barclay)

French Fancy said...

Mama Kathy - I just saw you there when I posted the last comment -sorry not to have spotted you before. The thing is that I've decided this will be my new policy - not to hang on to things that have outlived their usefulness or attractiveness - I have to fight against my natural urges to keep everything and consequently go to the other extreme.

It's still in the bin.

French Fancy said...

p.s - who am I kidding that my (almost) single figure jeans might still fit me. I've also decided to 'keep it real' in my fantasy world they might still fit me, in blogland they might still fit me...but in the real world they are much much too small.

Bill Stankus said...

Old shirts are worth gold to those of us who apply finishes to made of wood things. Old cotton shirts are usually lint-free thus making them ideal for padding on shellac, oil or varnish.

Veggie Carrie said...

Now you have a little more space in your wardrobe you can buy a lovely new shirt to take its place; I think brand new clothes always look better.

P.S. When living with Frankofile, things would often mysteriously go missing, never to be seen again... the saddest thing to go missing were my photos from my trip around America, Frankie still isnt forgiven for that!

P,S. Im using a French-Canadian keyboard and cant figure out where the apostrophe is!

nikkicrumpet said...

Oh go back and get it...it doesn't seem to have any holes or bleach spots lol. I have an old coat that looks like it belongs on a not to discerning homeless person...but I'm wearing it until it falls off! That baby is warm!

Jessica said...

It's so funny that you posted about this. Just yesterday, I threw out a comfy sweatshirt that I've had for ten years. It was getting really bad, holes in the elbows and so forth. I feel your pain! :)

lady jicky said...

I know that feeling. I wear alot of black and that gets "old" looking and if its a top etc that fits and looks good when it was "young" - Oooo, its hard to toss. FF - you know you Have to do it!
Now - you have some lovely white fluffy dogs FF!!!
I can see them in blue linen ribbons tied in bows on Christmas day!!!
Rosie just pushed me out of the way - " I am wearing a big bow on Christmas day and so should you Poppy - a lovely blue one!'
Kisses,
Rosie

French Fancy said...

Bill, of course - old clothes must make very good workshop 'rags'.Mr FF said 'I can use it' but I couldn't let it happen. Not to Old Blue Shirt. So we cut up one of his old ones instead.

Veggie Carrie - I've decided to cut down on clothes buying - and that is something that I never thought I would ever say. We have three wardrobes here that my clothes are currently in and I have everything I need for my current French country life.I can't believe that Frankofile is so ruthless with the 'chucking out' that you photos got (accidentally I presume) thrown away.I'm surprised I didn't hear the fall-out from here.

Nikki - it was a bleach spot that made me first think the shirt was finished. I'd ignored the little holes that seemed to cover it, the mayonnaise stains that wouldn't wash out and the general bleugh look.I think it is finished now.

Jessica - I bet you've thought about getting it back. I'm practising being tough with myself here :)

ladyj - hello there.I also wear a lot of black - for the day and the evening. It does get shabby and shiny easily, doesn't it. I'm happy to report however that Favourite Black Shirt has a few more years left in her though. That was a Bill Gibb top I bought in Hampstead in 1997 so you can see that I do make them last.

DJ Kirkby said...

Every time I thow out something or giv eold clothing away to a charity shop, I need it straight away!

French Fancy said...

DJ - hi there. I know exactly how that feels. It's like wanting chocolate once you announce you are on a diet - it comes to be the thing one yearns for.

Hope all the Christmas prep is going to plan

Frankofile said...

French Fancy - you're getting the fallout now! Of course I never threw out photos. [whiapers - Other people lose things. There are a zillion boxes if people were only brave enough to face the risk of spiders.]

Elizabeth said...

I think maybe you should retrieve the shirt.........
loved the meme below where you talked about yourself.
I gather you met my chum Karen Cole recently - she is wonderful.
I slightly envy you dogs and France.
post photos of garden and dogs please

Lynne said...

I couldn't have thrown it out. What am I on about? I never throw anything out!

Henry the Dog said...

The comments have made as good reading as the post itself. FF - I love it when you start talking to yourself. You make mum snigger. Just tell us - has the shirt finally gone? Or did you sneak it back without telling?

French Fancy said...

Frankofile -oops, sorry. I often use to accuse my mum of chucking stuff out - loudly and annoyingly - only to find it a little while after. Cue little flower posies of forgiveness. Only to have my dad yell ' who has been cutting the roses'?
(I wasn't that mean, I did used to go and buy her them sometimes).

I don't have a spider phobia at all. I rather like them because they catch the things I am phobic about - things that bite like mozzies and midges. I have a bad reaction to insect bites and often the bite swells up alarmingly and gets infected. If there is that ominous buzz in a room I vacate it immediately.

Hi Elizabeth - well, I'm slighly envious of you living in New York.I've only been once but loved it, was totally smitten. If you look in the index under bichons and garden there are some photos.

Lynne - my mum and dad could never throw anything out. That is probably why I make myself do it periodically-to make sure that I still can.I do however have huge bags full of the music my dad orchestrated and I just don't know what to do with. Thank goodness we have a big basement full of room (French houses are great like that -we have a laundry room, gym (ha ha- yes we do with dust on the equipment that you can write messages on), garage, and our office plus a little cave for wine.

Henry - it's still in the bin and now covered in a few bags of other things I've thrown out. Only got to make it to Tues morn and I won't have to think about it. Mr FF has since said 'I never meant for you to throw it out -you could have worn it whilst gardening- but I have gardening standards too (joke)'

Lulu LaBonne said...

Those comfy things in nice fabrics I can't throw out, but I'm always giving nearly new things to the charity shops because they're too stiff/scratchy/don't really suit me.

aliceinparis said...

What you need is another sky blue something. What a beautiful soaring colour!
Cheers, Shelagh

French Fancy said...

Lulu - have you ever seen anyone wearing your things? I gave a load of stuff to the local red cross when we first moved in and I've seen my things (and my old dad's suits - quite unmistakable some of them, like George Melly type things) out in circulation fairly regularly.

Shelagh - hello there, It was a cross between sky, royal and hyacinth blue - I've never seen the same shade anywhere else - I'm actually thinking now of patching up one of poppy the bichon's favourite toys (ducky) with bits of shirt.

Mama said...

Hey FF, Hope you are being strong, throw some old potatoe peelings and soggy brussel sprouts on top of the shirt and that will be that heehee, hope you have a truly wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year. We had a very nice lunch at Bouchon today in a very pretty town on the way to Napa called Yountville very French!. hugs, Kathy.

French Fancy said...

Mama K - still strong, oh so strong.I'm also wishing you a lovely Christmas and of course the best year you have ever had ahead of you.

Do you know one month ago I had never heard of Bouchon, Mr Keller or French Laundry. I happened across an article about him, was intrigued and my Christmas present to myself this year (a family tradition) are the two books - 'Bouchon' and 'The French Laundry'. For a mad moment I thought I would cook something from the FL cookbook for Christmas. I'm still toying with the gruyere balls for canap├ęs, but everything else in the book will need to be scrutinised.

Do you know there is a blog by someone who cooked everything from the FL book? Hold on - I'll fetch the link...
http://carolcookskeller.blogspot.com/
It's a fantastic achievement - the cooking, the blog (which is funny) and the pictures.

Anyway, don't I go on - the compliments of the season to you, m'dear (said in a Georgian sort of way)