“I saw a yardie caridie. I hesitated”
As unlikely as it sounds, I was on the Isle of Cumbrae – a tiny island off Scotland’s west coast – attending a scooter rally. I’ve been into these vintage machines and ‘modernist’ culture since I was a lad. I own a Vespa and two Lambrettas that I like to tinker with. In summer, there’s nothing I enjoy more than riding round the city’s streets or travelling ‘en masse’ to a faded seaside resort. As part of the scooter rally, there were stalls set up on the seafront.
One of them sold vintage clobber. I saw this smart orange and suede ‘yardie cardie’ for sale, but I hesitated. When I went back to the stall, it had gone. Later on, in one of Millport’s watering holes, I spotted somebody wearing the same cardie. I decided to try my luck. I found out he had only paid a tenner for it at the stall. So I offered him twenty quid. He made a £10 profit and I got the cardie. Result!
“By the time I reached London it was snowing!”
It was December and, as a birthday treat, I was taking a trip to London. Getting on the train at Edinburgh Waverley, it was unseasonably sunny. Four hours and twenty five minutes later when I reached London, it was snowing heavily.
I just wasn’t dressed for the weather. Shivering as I strolled round Camden Market, I decided I needed a warm jacket pronto. So I dived into a vintage clothes store called Dandy in Aspic.
I got talking to Caspar, the shop’s dapper owner. Resplendent in stripey trews and a fur coat, Caspar recommended that I try on this plaid coat. He told me I looked like a young Michael Caine in “The Ipcress File”. It’s a British spy movie from the 60s now recognised as a classic.
I was sold!