The Purloined Pashmina

February 28, 2007 at 2:37 am (Uncategorized)

You wouldn’t think this was pashmina season. It is, after all, the last day of summer today, and it is, fittingly, a scorcher. For now, anyway. Thanks to climate change, which our fearful leader has only now so very belatedly acknowledged as an issue (everything, but everything with that creep is politically motivated), anything is possible weather-wise these days. Just check out this photo from Canberra, taken in the early hours of this morning. It looks like downtown Helsinki, for Christ’s sake. Canberra is a short three hour drive from Sydney. It has soaring temperatures in summer. This morning, however, it resembled a city in the grip of a northern hemisphere winter. Odd, no?

And Sydney has not been without its own erratic weather patterns this so-called summer. It’s been extremely vexing just choosing what to wear when venturing outdoors for any longer than an hour at a time. A sudden downpour renders my regulation Havaianas more lethal weapons than comfortable footwear – they’re damn slippery when wet. And those gale force gusts blowing in from the ocean have been particularly arctic in nature this year. Cloud moves across Sydney these days faster than a stockmarket crash, so the perfect day one second becomes nigh on apocalyptic the next. It’s all extremely bi-polar (ha ha ha, that’s a hell of a bad pun…).

So a few days ago, I had occasion to pack a pashmina into my little bag of tricks (a cross between Ally Sheedy’s handbag in The Breakfast Club and the TARDIS on Doctor Who), just in case. As I pulled the black wrap from its hanger, I gave a small start. My pashmina didn’t feel right. I stared at the coarse, foreign thing in my hand for a moment, and then shoved it in my bag, thinking I was just in a hurry and imagining things. But no.

Later, as the wind and rain whipped around me, utterly maddening in that way of persistent spruikers flogging cheap trinkets at market, I reached into my bag and pulled out what should have been my silky soft black pashmina. Instead, it was some scratchy imitation, a nasty bit of tat that would be absolutely ideal for the lining of a dog’s kennel.

Somehow, a swap has been effected. But when? And by whom? Well, I can’t answer either of those deeply pressing questions, which is how I know I’ll never see my pashmina again. Sob! I have no idea where I last wore it, or in whose company. All I know is, we never got to say goodbye.

Some cunning shrew has traded up quite nicely, I must say. Perhaps the sticky-fingered slattern created a diversion before pulling the old switcheroo… I probably didn’t notice at the time because it might have been last winter, so I was probably warming the cockles of my heart with some heady brew. Red wine keeps the cold out rather effectively in my experience, especially once all your energy is necessarily directed into not falling down.

Of course, I might have reached for the wrong wrap myself. This horrible mistake could be entirely of my own making. My pashmina could be out there somewhere, brutalised and covered in cigarette burns, abandoned on a plastic hanger, all alone in a darkened wardrobe, forced to associate with ghastly synthetic fibres and wool blends… It’s just too devastating to contemplate. There’s been no ransom note, no call from the abductor… just a dread silence, and an itchiness around the shoulders where pure pashmina used to be…



  1. Neil said,

    hang on….Ruben was wearing a lovely pashmina in Melbourne this last weekend…

  2. doctordi said,

    Aha! I might have known Ruben-Some-Say-Rubena was involved…

  3. Some Say said,

    embrace the man-made fibre for it is the future.

  4. doctordi said,

    Er, isn’t it true that all the man-made fibres are making the future a trifle… shall we say, “inconvenient”…?

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