I must admit, I've just spent money I don't have on a late 19th century French labourer's smock. Oh but it's lovely, and I've had my eye on it for over a fortnight.
It's heavy, coarse sun-bleached linin. It has heavy coarse shell buttons too (except one which is clearly a modern replacement). Mostly hand sewn, with some evidence of machine working. Painstakingly rouched at the sleeves.
I can wear it as a summer dress, with a belt. If I wear it with a belt and heels it almost looks normal. Otherwise, I feel enveloped in it. I would love to wear it as it is, but I look like a sleepwalker/ a virgin martyr/ a spiritualist's assistant. It's not a look I can pull off...
The linin is as tough and hardwearing as a sack. It's been designed for ease of movement; for hard repetitive movement of fieldwork. You can swing your arms.
I love it completely.
Inside it I'm in the space filled by a [large for his day] man. A man who worked in the fields. I'm going to find out more about this type of garment. I'll try the art library tomorrow. I was going to the VandA with Turtle anyway, to look at the quilts (again). I can ask to meet her there and then spend the morning in the libary and the afternoon looking at things.
It occured to me that by buying this stranger's garment, I may have invited another ghost into my flat. (I don't believe in ghost's at all, of course, but it's well known that they live in old clothes...)
Last night I dreamt I was pregnant. I gave birth to a teabag. It was upsetting to say the least- I had expected a baby. The teabag did admittedly possess an odd sort of sentience. But we made a cup of tea with it- after all that is it's nature. I rather hoped this would make the real baby appear. But it didn't. Then I woke up.