For years I lived in the same jacket – a beloved Barbour Beaufort that I first slipped on in 2007.
I had always wanted one, ever since I saw my dad in one – it just looked so warm, comfy and reliable.
Day in and day out it hung loyally in the boot room until I needed it for gardening, dog walks, farm maintenance or trips into town when it was rainy and windy.
I just loved it and for a decade it served me well. I wore it to death and it’s absolutely one of the best items I have ever owned.
It was just so practical – a vital bit of kit for keeping the wind and brambles out and perfect for storing all sorts in it for dog walks, maintenance on the farm, feeding livestock, pruning hedges or any other number of tasks.
I’d owned mine since it was new and, over the years, learnt to love all of its tears and holes, nostalgically remembering how they all happened.
But the sound of new tears became a daily occurrence and, although I was denying it, it was unwearable.
The pockets were shredded, the zip was broken (I had to step into it to put it on) and tears had worn in the sleeves where creases had given up altogether.
I sadly hung it up for the last time and for weeks wondered if I should invest in a new one. But not having one to wear on the farm was tricky and I quickly realised there was nothing else that served me as well as a Beaufort does.
But, I can now say I’m the proud owner of a new one.
It’s durable, reliable and sturdy – you can walk along overgrown footpaths, squeeze through prickly gaps in the hedge and stay warm and dry, without having to worry about it getting damaged.
It is testament to a great British brand and everything it stands for.
As for my old one, I still can’t bring myself to throw it out (I’m hoping I’ll find time to salvage parts of it to make some sort of bag).
This homage to a simple jacket might sound over the top, but some things just need to be celebrated.
Thank you Barbour.