Getting in a flap

The ex-ambassador turned up after we had sped the departing musicians on their way. Fortunately, he wasn’t minded to harangue us about Organic Bees or otherwise try and start anything, because we were frantically trying to catch up with ourselves. He and the Professor went off with the dog on Saturday to walk the Speyside Way — or quite a lot of it, at any rate, and came back tired and pleased with themselves. It wasn’t all exercise — it transpired, on their return with a happy but exhausted twit-hound that the ex-ambassador had bought a tweed jacket in Johnson’s sale as they passed through Elgin. Very pretty it was too, but when he embarked on the usual ritual of opening up the pockets, he began looking more and more puzzled: the inside pockets (various) were as usual secured with a few stitches to keep them in shape, easily tweaked out, but the side pocket seemed to be giving him a good deal of trouble … finally, investigation revealed that there weren’t pockets on the outside, just flaps. Which struck us as very odd indeed. To be sure, hardly anyone smokes. You no longer keep pipe & pouch, or cigarette case and matches, in your jacket pockets. The wallet goes on the inside. But people do carry mobile phones — indeed, hardly dare to be parted from them in many cases — and us oldies need our reading glasses. So surely the pockets are as much needed as ever?

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