Winter, I can feel it arriving slowly, settling down from the tops and in the icy rain. We’ve just arrived back from Istanbul where the rain was Arctic feeling and I lacked sufficient autumnal wear. I need to get my beloved McQueen coat dry cleaned which I’m building up to. I’ve been told the leather strapping may run into the beige/camel tweed. Anxiety. However, it needs to be done and if the Manchester dry cleaners can’t do it, who can? I can’t wear it another winter without cleaning it. I’ve kept it and worn it so carefully in the heaviest snow, it’s pristine, but it needs to be cared for. What’s the point of collecting if you don’t care?
I used to work as an office junior for a criminal/corporate law firm. One of my tasks would be to take the solicitor’s dry cleaning down to Granada Dry Cleaners on Bridge street, a bit of an institution hinted at by their retro 60’s frontage – it’s still there, see the photo. Armfuls of Gucci suits, Lacroix evening garments and plain and boring Armani day wear. They rustled in time to me, draped over my arm, click-clacking down Deansgate in silly heels which despite my £6,000 per annum salary and physical job, I like all women were required to wear, the men similarly in smart shoes.
I’d arrive red faced, the polyester of my bargain shop black jacket sticking to my shoulder blades, and heave everything onto the counter. It would all be done on a next day service, paid for with a fistful of twenty and fifty pound notes (there were a lot of items). Only the best.