My ideal . . . winter coat for multi-tasking


I was in my bedroom the other day, filling out my application form for Aosdána. I was on question two, ‘what’s your bra size?’ when I suddenly grew tired of the process and began instead to imagine my perfect winter coat. I’m excited to share my vision with you now. Come with me, let’s try it on. Stop crying! Ready? Good.

The first thing you’ll notice when you elegantly heave it on is the warmth, particularly around the small of your back. That heat is coming from a heat pad I’ve sewn into the lining. I got it in the chemist. It feels like a warm, steady hand. So you’re not alone at that party anymore! There’s someone right behind you, guiding you along. Not in a controlling way, but in a I’m right here, and we can laugh about what this idiot is saying later, in the car on the way home way.

A woman once told me that women are good at multi-tasking. I believed her because as she said that, she liquidised a pot of parsnip soup, created a hybrid cloud to allow her company to seamlessly scale up and mended a broken Segway – all the while breastfeeding her baby. Well, I’m assuming it was her baby because she was breastfeeding it. So it follows that we need a coat with pockets to carry all our bits and pieces. Depending on the day ahead, we can fill them with soothers, almonds, smart phones or one of those little revolvers you use to shoot people.

Listen! There are tiny speakers attached to the collar of my coat, murmuring encouraging things.

Finally, the colour is important. Are you a winter or an autumn? I’m just being nosey, ignore me. Just make sure the colour helps your eyes pop, but not in a thyroid problem way.

The colours we choose send out a signal to those around us. If you want to look French, wear navy. Working as a spy or one of those people who inexplicably pride themselves on being shy? Wear taupe. Red says I’m alive...and I’ve got needs.

If you want people to know how disappointed you are, choose grey. I’ve gone off black coats since I watched a crowd of Londoners getting on the Tube, looking like so many subterranean ravens descending on a metal carcass that ended up devouring them.

My coat is whale coloured. This morning, in Penneys, I enquired about matching accessories. The girl said they didn’t have anything whale coloured, unless I meant black and white. I explained to her coldly, but with patience, that I did not mean black and white, rather a sort of bluey-charcoal. A colour to flatter my icy skin tone, wavy hair and underwater eyes.

I think you’ll agree though, as you reluctantly hand my coat back to me – it doesn’t need baubles anyway. It pulls me together and says to barnacles everywhere.

Stick with me kid...I’ll show you the world.

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