the coat


Opening the bag up, a familiar musty smell hits my nose. Stronger this time, as years have gone by now without having opened it. Not a terrible smell, just stronger than before.

There had always been a slight smell, even in the early days. I liked to imagine that smell was a build up off life. A life that had seen years and years of fun nights out and cold winters. Parties that ended days after they began. Mornings spent in bustling coffee shops, weekends in smoky darkened bars listening to sultry singers and political arguments.

This is the life I imagined my coat to have had before I found her.

I nearly didn’t find her though. I almost missed her altogether. A rushed weekend train to Amsterdam, a drizzly grey afternoon that was sneaking into a winter’s night. A clunking stuffed overnight backpack hitting into ready to go home vendors. Then suddenly I saw her, fluffy cuff sticking out, whispering to me to save her from a sea of old military jackets.

I tried her on. A good fit. Handed over some notes and away I went with a spring in my step and a coat on my back.

Time ticked on. The quiet of walking through soft German snow, the laughter of a noisy English pub evening, the intensity of long serious Italian conversations over coffees, and also teary farewells- the coat was there. I felt good in it and it suited my life at that point.

Back to Australia and another chapter of my life began in Sydney. With warmer weathers, balmy winters and softly falling snow just a distant memory. The coat got packed away. Promises of a triumphant return never eventuated, and slowly the packed away bag gathered just a little more dust.

Why was I clinging on to the coat? Was it because I really loved it, and thought I would sincerely wear it again if we ever moved to a colder climate? Or was I simply clinging on to it, as there were so many fun happy memories attached to it, (both of my own and imagined from another.) I was older, greyer and certainly plumper than when I first wore the coat, would wearing it still feel the same as it once had?

I couldn’t decide, and time carried on. The dust gathered, until finally something changed. A whispered change, just like the first whisper of when I saw that fluffy cuff.

It was time. Time to pass on that coat with the happy times sewn into its sleeves… to someone else.

I hope someone else can sense the good times that were had in it.

coat collar


30 thoughts on “the coat

  1. Romance- that coat was pure youthful romance- just right for a girl/woman roaming around the world. I had a pair of sandals and a floor length skirt from the 60’s that I kept just to open up the box every once in a while and remember that girl I had been and the hopes I had had.
    Thanks for the reminder of youth and dreams.


  2. What beautiful words Brydie! I love how you write! (and the fact you got that coat in Amsterdam ha ha).
    Who knows who the happy new owner will be 😉


  3. Just beautiful Brydie – the story, the coat and your words. It does have that special something about it – no doubt the new owner will love it. You know, it would have come in handy on your Tassie travels though 🙂 Have a lovely week. Mel x


  4. Your post makes me think of the Paul Kelly song Winter Coat. I have had coats that are special go through my life – they are just the best companions – yours sounds very special and I half want you to keep it because it has shared so many good times but I also feel you can let go of the coat without letting go of the memories – after all we just don’t wear winter coats in these parts like those in the northern hemisphere!


    • That’s what I though of too, Johanna…that coat story is a Paul Kelly song. If Paul read this , he would have to write another song about a coat.
      You were ‘in the zone’ with this writing ,Brydie….lovely sitting here just soaking up your words.


  5. What a beautiful coat. I can understand why you have loved it so much. We have a council clean-up on this week and so I have been clearing this home of all the things we’ve collected and hung on to and have purged them onto the footpath. It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday and our street was full of people trolling up and down looking for things they needed. It was great to see some of my things disappearing and being given life in a new home xx


  6. Ahh…lovely story.
    I know this is very non-PC but I hope you don’t miss your coat. I finally gave away half a wardrobe of clothes from my pre-children era about a year ago. I do feel a little pang every time I remember a few of those items and wish I had kept some of them. I have such strong memories of opening up a trunk of my mothers old clothes and wearing them and dancing around in them as a child. And it is a bit sad that our current lifestyle and over consuming habits won’t offer my daughter the same simple pleasure (should she be so inclined).


    • SG I used to do the same thing with my mums treasured pieces. I used to love doing it…hearing the stories that accompanied the item and feeling ever so grown up when I tried it on. Living in a small space I get very confused as to what to keep and what not to…


  7. So, so, so beautiful. ♥ It reminds me of a chapter from Francesca Lia Block’s book “Necklace of Kisses” where she describes different moments in the character’s life through her wardrobe. It’s a beautiful book; I think you’d like it. 🙂 And I hope that the person who receives the coat next appreciates it just as much as you did.


  8. What a lovely story and what a fabulous coat – I can imagine you in it walking into a pub with your collar up against the damp fog and just looking great – you evoke a real atmosphere with your writing – just wonderful xx


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