A tale of sadness and regret

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.


14 thoughts on “A tale of sadness and regret

  1. Oh, no 😦 Having lost more than one beloved item of clothing over the years, I totally feel your pain on this. I really, really hope some honest person has handed it in – it happened to me with my sunglasses earlier this year (they were Gucci, and in a Gucci branded case so thought they’d end up on eBay for sure, but nope, someone found them and handed them in to the store I’d dropped them in), so there are some nice people out there: I really hope one of them happens to find your beautiful coat.

    • Do you know, I thought of you when I lost it – thought “Oh, this must be how Amber has felt about that green dress/those sunglasses/that top…” It’s horrible, isn’t it! Here’s hoping it shoes up like your sunglasses did! xx

  2. Honestly, despite knowing this heartbreaking story already, it’s broken me all over again just reading it! If only for the fact that I was the same as your lovely self – I adored that coat. Coveted it. Tried it on every time I went to Laura Ashley. Told my Mum, husband, dad, brother, every friend that would listen about it’s existence. However, in the sale it was not in my size – I bade farewell to that beautiful purple dream.

    Honestly, how could someone, anyone, pick up someone’s clothing and think, “Oooh. They left that by accident. Tit. Well, their loss…my gain. Lovely” – I cannot fathom the thought process. I may have picked up 20p I’ve found on the floor at work, but I would never knowingly take something like an item of clothing, a 20/10/5 pound note or someone’s purse. One thing is knowing how over the moon I would be if I ever lost something and someone had the kind spirit to hand it in.

    I really do hope Moor St etc come up trumps. I am keeping my fingers crossed my darling! xxx

    • I know exactly what you mean about the thought process – I have chased people down the street when they left a fiver in the cash machine before now. I once found a tenner in a fitting room with no-one around to claim it – and gave it to the homeless guy selling Big Issues outside. But I have also accidentally stepped away from the cash point and turned back milliseconds later to find £45 missing from the vending slot.

      To try to make me feel better, Dapper suggested maybe someone who really needed it had taken it – someone who couldn’t afford a coat and needed one (like one of my loved ones, I mentioned to you on Friday night…). The thing is, even if desperate I know for a fact, my loved ones simply would not be able to do that – would chase down the carriage rather than help themselves! It’s an entirely different kind of person that could take anything that wasn’t theirs.


  3. Trust your lovely Dapper to think of someone in need in that situation, what a good man. I am so sorry to hear about that coat, I lost a much-loved dress when my ex and I split and I searched for it for months after (I think it was either stolen by someone unscrupulous or was mistakenly packed along with ex’s things when he moved out) Losing a coat is much worse though because the perfect coat is much harder to find than the perfect dress. I’m keeping all crossed for you my dear for its safe return xxx

  4. In the middle of this sad tale I saw something I just couldn’t help smiling at…… your little reference to ‘Burglar Bill’! Good to see you’ve kept your sense of humour despite the upsetting loss 😉

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