Moving Update (1)
I find a woollen poncho in the attic. My mother knitted it for me when I was 16. It's a very thick wool (tog rating 95), sort of turquoise in colour, with a polo neck and tassles round the hem.
When I was 19 I wore it on the London Underground (the District Line from Bayswater to Richmond, since you ask). There were sarcastic wolf whistles and a man shouted "Who's a pretty boy, then?"
If you've ever lived in our mighty megalopolis, you'll know that it takes a lot to provoke that kind of reaction on the tube.
I don't think I've ever worn it since that traumatic summer's night but the poncho has come with me on countless changes of address and it has never 'got the moth'. (What an odd expression that is: as though there were only one moth. It's like people saying to waiters: 'I'll have the chicken", as though only a single fowl were available at each service).
But I've been keeping the poncho for the old people's home where it will serve as both outré day wear for the TV lounge and a warm bed jacket at night. It's long enough to hide a colostomy bag and I can use the tassles to flick flies away when I'm wheeled into the garden.
I shall also flaunt it when I invite young male nurses to my room for a pot of Assam and some fruitcake so I can regale them with entirely fictitious stories of how I worked as a rent boy in California in the 60's.
"That Rock Hudson, more like Soft Hudson, if you get my drift............some more Dundee cake, Kevin? (touching his knee).......I suppose a blanket bath's out of the question?"
If this strategy works, a Social Services committee will find me guilty of 'inappropriate behaviour' and I will be transferred to my own flat in warden-controlled sheltered housing.
The poncho's work will be done.
God Bless you, mother.