All I can say is that it was bloody hot, no not hot, humid, crushingly humid as I had what may well be a final chat for some time with my dear friend The Colonel.
We parted our ways after sipping cocktails on the Playa Ensenachos, Cuba, he, on his way to confirm overall control of the international export business for Cohiba cigars, me to continue my international ramblings and wanderings, which has been my want ever since the pioneer spirit filled my well healed boots as a child.
As I sip from my crystal glass of XO sat in Trader Vics, Park Lane I realised that my good friend had suggested I take over a particular role of ’blogger’ whatever that is? for Stuarts of London as we baked and sipped Mojitos.
I prefer the word scribe, but I understand fully Le Colonel’s need to remain up to date with the all the nuances of modern language as he travails the globe in search of adventure.
Anyway, enough of this nonsense you will in time find out more about me and the whereabouts of the C man, but just to introduce myself and as the song created in my honour says: ‘Should you ever bump into me in the street, my name is: SKYLON!’
Sir Henry Fortesque Skylon The Fourth to be precise, We will stick with Skylon.
It is less of a mouthful, especially after that all-important third magnum of Dom Perignon, served at 42-47 degrees Fahrenheit of course, has passed ones lips.
So on with the show as they say and I must say I was jolly pleased to find out that my old chums Kasabian visited the store recently.
It was the least they could do after I created the group, penned most of the first Long Player and of course etched the first version of their now infamous covered faced logo.
I haven’t crossed swords with Serg and the chaps for sometime now, so I wondered what the lads would have been looking amongst the plethora of labels and goodies on show?
I am only shooting in the dark here, rather like that time I was high on ludes on the Mekong Delta shooting rats the size of shire ponies in some wild bet with the king of Vietnam at the festival of the Nine rivers or some such.
A wild time was had by all and I still have the fur hat to show for my blunderbuss skills.
So I reckon the boys would have had their eyes taken by the superb Woolrich range, especially the parkas that remind of those sported in The Thing.
Do you remember that film? A superb arctic adventure, but the real ending was that I escaped along with Snake Plissken, once again that is a story for another day.
The stunning olive and navy finished coats are part of the John Rich and Bros production house from Pennsylvania, USA that creates some excellent quality garments, something they have been doing since 1830 by all accounts.
The parkas, although not fishtail, are the standard parka length and shape, with two front bell pockets; a four-button fastening front, with inner zip, side vented pockets on the body and a string adjustable hood.
If anyone recalls how cold things can get in winter in dear old Albion then wearing this will ensure you don’t experience that again.
It is not called arctic for nothing you know!
The jacket which contains DuPont Teflon fabric protector, which helps avoid staining, vital when popping open a cheeky bottle of Margaux in your local polar exploration station, or just pub I suppose.
The down-filled coat insulates to 40 below and it is of course water resistant.
All this really does save your man servant burning all his possessions in a bid to keep you warm and there are specified details about the quality of garment and fabrics used tat would make your head spin.
The fur trim on the hood is the final coup de grace.
I would like to add that Master Rich who began the company hailed from England originally and bloody good show as well.
The new range also offers a delightful Aleutian navy vest with zip through and button fastening, two side hand pockets and also protects to the same level of insulation as the parka. The vest is probably a better choice when out shooting or other game sports as it allows for more flexiblity in the arm department.
This is vital when trying top pick off your house staff and servants, to wing them as they make a break for freedom after a particularly long luncheon on the crocquet lawn.
All in all these are fabulous pieces.
Of course the designs do not stop there, the Michagan Peacoat jackets are splendid, coming in tan and navy, the detachable hooded rain-coats will suit for work and play and run full length.
I must say I was particularly taken with the Trappers Henley jumpers, with the high button neck are just right for winter coming in green and navy in regular fit, with a Woolrich metal patch on the hem, these are delicious.
The labels use of muted colours is a polar (I cannot stop that now) opposite of other designers form across the pond such as Penfield and Carhartt and Gitman Bros.
There appears to be a battle for the common ground of the American outdoors look and if so Woolrich has made a claim to at least part of that ground. Huzzah I say, Huzzah.