In the weekend colour supplement there is usually an interview and one of the usual questions put is 'Cat or dog?' So I posed myself this very same question on your behalf to save you the cost of all the phone calls. OK, we used to have dogs when I was small. Since my father was an old navy man they were called Bosun or Skipper or Bosun II or Skipper II. Then when I was a young, independent woman living in the cramped confines of London, cats tolerated my company in exchange for whatever could be gleaned from my fridge when I was out at work. How cats learnt to open the fridge door is still a mystery. But when I had children of my own, we had neither cats nor dogs. The children had bite size pets, and I mean that most bitterly as some of these little animalcules were quite nasty nippers - particularly when being rescued from the back of the fridge, the back of the washing machine and other dark places they seemed to prefer instead of the nice warm, well watered, well provisioned little homes we provided for them. Their bids for freedom left me totally exhausted and often ratty. Just don't talk about the stick insects - I have nightmares still.
So, cat or dog? I can prevaricate no longer - I have to admit that I adore rescue cardigans. And here you can see some of my favourites. I enter a thrift shop and it is as if all the cardigans start jumping up and down and wagging their sleeves, saying buy me, I'm the one for you. And this cardigan certainly was the one for me. It has lovely teapots and tea cups all over the back and front and I call this, in the Japanese manner, my tea-time-going-cardigan. Especially when my grandaughter is having a tea-party for dolls or teddy bears. It is my favourite cardigan of all time.
This next is not so much a cardigan, more a decorative covering for arms and I wear it such a lot with many different things, not just dressy items. I love its fine crochet and classic silvery greyness.
This, you might say, is the empress of my collection and is by David Emanuel. Yes, someone did actually turn it out of their house and home.....!
If I were to explain why I chose this cardigan, which admittedly has seen better days, it could all get long-winded and a bit confusing. So, to be brief, or as brief as I can be when talking about my favourite cardigans, it has something to do with those little velvet pockets. One day, I shall recall exactly what they put me in mind of...
This last beauty is not so much a cardigan as a whisper of warmth. Not so much one cardigan as a Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee. It consists of two finely knit mohair garments, one inside the other. The inside one is white and plain knit, the upper one is in palest lime and has a delicate cable-twist.
In fact when it comes to cats or dogs, this cardigan can outcat and outdog the rest with the number of hairs it leaves in its wake. So if you see me coming towards you wearing this, give me a wide berth!
And just one last word - or to be truthful - nearly twenty. The best cardigan for the chilliest, bleakest days, is always the one your loved one has just taken off!