Have you ever had a love affair with an item of clothing? You court it for months, going into the store to try it on again and again. You continually tell your friends how amazing it is, finding any excuse to drop it into conversation. You casually mention it on your blog, whenever you can find the excuse.
So it was with my Laura Ashley coat. I coveted it for months and months. And then, one January day, I made it my own, brought it home, loved it… When all the other coats were folded and put away under the bed for the summer months my Laura Ashley coat was kept in the wardrobe, so concerned was I that it should keep its shape, avoid creases…
And then, on Friday night, I left it on the train.
In a moment of pure madness, so unlike me, I stepped off the train with only my handbag and suitcase. I realised my mistake mere moments later and ran back – but the doors had been shut. All I could do was watch the train pull out, with my beloved coat onboard.
I went straight to the ticket officer and told him what I’d done The next stop was Moor Street, he informed me: he would phone ahead, get the guard to run through and send it on the next train back through Solihull. But by the time the train pulled into Moor Street, 10 minutes later, my coat was nowhere to be seen. Which means, and I feel sick just thinking this, that some dishonest person has seen me leave it behind and thought “That’s a nice coat – I’ll have that!”
Not to be beaten, the guard suggested we wait the 20 minutes until the train came back through, jump on and check thoroughly for ourselves. He said the train wouldn’t leave until we were back on the platform. I got on at one end, checked the carriages with no success. Dapper checked the other end.
When I returned, empty handed and tearful, to the platform I was met by the guard and the ticket officer – but no Dapper Chap. For the second time that evening I had to watch the train pull out with something of mine onboard…
20 minutes later, after an exciting jaunt to Dorridge, Dapper and I were reunited. My coat and I? No such luck.
I am waiting to hear back from Birmingham Snow Hill/London Midland lost property, and will be phoning Moor Street lost property later today (they don’t open until noon), in the vain hope that some lovely person actually saw me leave it, picked it up and handed it in. Or, perhaps, stole it, then in a moment of remorse returned it to the station. I know how unlikely either is, but I can’t escape my desire to always think the best of humankind…
So, if you happen to see someone wearing a new, purple, Laura Ashley coat in a size 14 (or possibly 16 – I can’t remember which fit in the end), please feel free to question them as to its origins. Particularly if it has two lovely handmade corsages on the lapel. I’m beyond heartbroken over its loss.