Return of the sheep

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Could it be true? The Sloane Ranger look of the 80s is back?

I was astounded to see an old friend on Jess Carter Morley’s latest video, on what to wear on Christmas Day.

Sheep jumperI refer, sadly, not to a person, but to the sheep jumper by Chloe, which Carter-Morley, being too young to have worn one the first time round, simply thinks is cute and fun, mixed in among the red chiffons and winter-white silks that she imagines will give a lot more mileage (love, I haven’t worn chiffon in over a decade…). 

Should I be wishing that I hadn’t given my sheep jumper, so redolent of Princess Di, to my friend N for mucking out her horses?

I once had a big fetish for the picture jumpers that were so popular back in the 80s. I can’t remember how many I had, but I certainly had a red one with white sheep, a navy one with white sheep, a navy one with pink pigs (and a built-in squeaker!), a sky-blue one with scottie dogs, not to mention the numerous landscape/umbrellas/intarsia/geometric multi-coloured sweaters I bought, wore and gave away (usually to N) over the course of a decade or so.

I could seriously wish some of them back again now, with our heating only on for four hours a day. I gave them away at a time when fashion seemed more important than warmth – I never envisaged a time when oil would be so expensive, and warmth so very very necessary. Not that I don’t have enough clothes, you understand. Just that it would be nice to ring the changes a bit more often. 

As I type, I’m wearing my usual winter garb of undies, silk thermals, cashmere crewneck, cashmere poloneck, aran cardigan and a thick pair of wool ski trousers from Adrienne Vittadini. Oh, and of course a hat, Uggs, thermal knee-length socks and fingerless gloves.

Luckily, it is not as cold as last year, and I have worked out my routines much better. Our bedroom temperature is about 5 degrees – the same, as I snippily pointed out to my husband – as the fridge. But if I go to bed in a poloneck cashmere sweater, flannel pjs and a balaclava then I can sleep very well indeed – the key is to keep your head warm. Once in the bed, we have heated pads, an electric blanket, several blankets and 32 togs of goosedown duvet, perhaps one reason why the bed, all day and all night, remains a cat magnet, and getting out of bed each morning seems simple purgatory.

However, it is this time of day that is perhaps the worst – four in the afternoon. The heating comes on at 7.00am and the house is warm when we get up, but it clicks on and off until 2.00 and I don’t light the woodburner till 5.00, after which I will be glued to its 22kw like Linus to his blanket. 

Oh well, enough whingeing. At least I HAVE central heating, which no-one else here does. Around this neck of the woods, the winter days generally begin by donning a thick dressing gown, slipping downstairs into a glacial kitchen and coaxing the woodburner back to life.

Which is what I myself am about to do.  

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