AS I never seem to tire of bringing to you - Covid-19 side effects, I thought that today I might consider on your behalf what we are currently wearing during these semi-lockdown times. As none of us can go out anywhere to even try to impress anyone else, I have noticed a sort of gradual easing of style imperatives that most of us took for granted up until the early part of last year.
For instance, whatever happened to that golden rule that stated you should only don so-called ‘sports wear’ if you might actually be involved in some sort of physical activity? A casual glance around my local supermarket, for instance, might suggest that most of the women shoppers were in training for the next olympic games.
But alas, baggy ‘trackies’ a creased T shirt and furry slippers don’t make for the next Dame Kelly Holmes now do they? Men are the same, but with a baseball cap worn back-to-front to add a certain urgency to the “I’m going bald, but don’t want to admit it… look” Then we have the evil that is Lycra.
I say evil - but, only as worn by most people who shouldn’t. Those of us who are lithe of leg and firm of buttock, don’t really need Lycra - but wear it all the same to shame the rest of humanity. Mostly Lycra seems to be used for packaging the ‘unpackageable’ if you see what I mean and quite frankly should be discouraged or properly certified, so as to be only worn by people with small and medium sized bums.
After slopping around our place for months on end, wearing only gardening boots, my ever reliable ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’ shorts and an ancient and rather smelly mustard yellow sweater, perhaps I am the last person to talk about lockdown elegance. Anyway, just recently I decided that I wasn’t going to make being permanently scruffy a career move, and so decided to smarten myself up when going out and about.
The trouble is - I never go ‘out-and-about’ as I once did and putting on a nice pair of trousers and a clean shirt does seem a bit superfluous when doing nothing much in particular.
Indeed, I like to think that when all this Covid business is all over I will revert to the suave man-about-town I never was. Seriously, it is surprising nowadays - not what we Do wear, but what we Don’t wear anymore. I was rifling through my modest chest of drawers and minor section of a supposedly ‘joint’ bedroom wardrobe the other day and I was really surprised what clothes I actually did have, but haven’t worn any of it for well over a year.
Going back to my original point; long gone are the days when men and women sought to dress with an element of everyday elegance in the family home. You know, women in pretty frocks and men in jackets and ties with a pipe clenched between a manly square jaw and polite children quietly playing with the small family dog whilst wearing school uniform.
Where and when did it all go so wrong? Nowadays, mum might look like someone on ‘Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away’ - dad a 60’s hippy or a heavily sedated ‘Grunge’ artiste - whilst the kids, bless ‘em - recruits for a local production of the musical Oliver.
Then there is the weight gain - Oh my good God! Hardly surprising I suppose when the fridge door is almost permanently left ajar and so called ‘snacks’ now constitute almost 60% of food intake, closely followed by every gunky takeaway known to man and anything to do with chocolate.
Personally, I have taken to completely revisiting my dietary requirements this past month and so I have become both slim-of-hip and flat-of-stomach in this time, whilst constantly reminding all I know of this miracle of self sacrifice.
This lifestyle change (we are not allowed to call diets, diets anymore!) was initiated by someone I won’t mention (Yes, it was Julie!), when comparing my looks with the actor Ricky Tomlinson - he of ‘The Royale Family’ on the television.
Have you also noticed the sheer desperation on people’s faces when they go out to jog/walk so as to combat either the boredom or weight gain brought on by the Covid-19 protocols? In truth, in all my twenty years in living in our place in the hills above Andratx, I have never seen as many local people out-and-about in variously unfortunate sportswear creations as I have in the past months.
Late in the afternoon on a sunny day, there seem to be squadrons of wheezing locals sporting cheap Lycra chugging up our lane. At one time pre pandemic, you would only see handsome young men and women gliding effortlessly past our place, nowadays I’m afraid we get a cornucopia of limping locals, puffing-and-blowing up the mountain road on the way to a potential heart attack.
However, I have also noticed that even under the extreme stress of briskly walking uphill for kilometre after kilometre, women in particular, still find it possible to talk very loudly and at great length, particularly when joined by others seeking to escape the boredom of him and home.
Next week! Why male hairstyles have returned to the early 1970’s ‘mullet’ cut and flared trousers could be the next ‘must have’ along with bum-bags and medallions.
Has it struck anybody else I wonder, that those who are rightly or wrongly constantly calling for tighter Covid restrictions both in the United Kingdom and Spain, or seek to delay any easing of the present lockdown protocol are either politicians, scientists, medical practitioners or occasionally journalists?
Indeed, they are mostly on rather good salaries with absolutely no chance at all of that income being restricted or indeed stopped by the current pandemic. Hey, just putting that thought out-there!