STUMBLING OUT of SLM Towers after launching the first edition of what could be seen as the smartest new magazine on the block, I could easily have been forgiven for getting carried as to the oddity of the situation that befell me.
I was after all sheltering from what seems to be the perpetual rain of British spring and summer relying on the ability of my Crombie Rainmac, blue not the navy, to do so, I find that colour brings out the tan of my Grenson Archies better in dull weather.
I stood clutching all the requisite papers for future editions of SLM in my newly acquired Want Les Essentials De La Vie Ohare shopping tote, when I was approached by a man, not in an Operation Yew Tree way mind.
This rakish chap, sporting a full length coat I recognised as a Barbour Stockman and dark glasses, Ray Ban Cats in black, if I was not mistaken, jammed a small piece of paper, grunted something indecipherable and sped past me and into the night.
Not one for conspiracy theories, I quickly looked around and then recognised exactly what the typed message of: 'Castelnau' meant and who it was from…
Something wicked this way comes I thought and pondered visiting said property near Barnes, London over a series of fully loaded French 75s, when my curiosity, it must be said, got the better of me.
So I headed out to the West London bolt hole, where I found the door key still under the back wheel of the unmoved Jaguar 420 and entered the decaying old mews knowing the basement was where I was headed.
Dust a plenty, stuffed animal heads, all smacked of only one thing, my old chum and his family lineage, with this gaff acting as the families secret bunker.
Having descended into the cellar, I was greeted by the staccato ‘tap, tap, tap’ of the IBM Selectric typewriter, attached via a ham-fisted series of wires to a Lorenz SZ40.
I am always amazed out how the fingers of influence stretched from young Skylon’s family and as the Selectric decoded his messages from god knows where, I could not help wondering how they had persuaded the Bletchley Park gang to smuggle the out such an historic piece of encrypting machinery, which was now being used to order clothing for the old desperado himself, as he blazed another trail of destruction on some ungodly corner of the globe.
Piecing together the foot steps of a crazed individual is never easy, but slugging back a fabulous glass of 1961 Mouton Rothschild Bordeaux I pondered the word hammered across: Myanmar, Ten C, Minimum Frede shorts, Swims, Orlebar Brown, Persol and of course the final one… booze.
So Burma way (Myanmar) was where my old chum was, presumably hold up in the forests hence the need for the Ten C snow smock to shield from the torrential down pours, and why would he not choose that, although originated for winter camp wear, this military icon would ensure he and the girls (Bubbles and Bingo) remain dry, I am also slipping in the Sfoderato green goggle jacket from C.P. Company, a corking garment, dripping in classic C.P. style, with drawstring comfort and deep chest and lower pockets, perfect for ammo, booze or whatever things normal people might wish to carry.
I like his choice of the Minimum Frede shorts, giving him a flexibility of extra cover with the roll down knee, button fly, and pockets a plenty in arrange of solid neutral colours, a wise move I think as the third glass of this parafino slips down.
I am not going to argue with this choice of OB T-shirts and teasingly I will send him the Tommy Illustration Monaco to remind him of sun-bleached afternoons imbibing his favourites at the Hermitage hotel, also it will won’t provide him with any form of camouflage with its delicious art deco print standing out a mile.
I will of course drop in a couple Bobby shirts he requested from the range, so he can safely blend in a bit, I am not that cruel.
The Swims are a wise move as well, he is obviously treading some heavy duty precipitation over Burma way, so these little beauties in the Harry Mud boots, along with the galoshes and of course the Loafers are all quality and provide not only style, but protection.
Blazing up a Cohiba I wonder if there are any more colours in the rainbow for Swims to feature in their loafer range?
The last two demands have left my slightly confused, only in as much as I understand Skylon’s need for foldable Persol sunglasses, but which ones? The black, tortoise or the Havanas?
I am not sure, so bung in all three from the 714 range.
As for the booze, well there is plenty here that can be fired over to the old chap, although I will be finishing up this cheeky little red before I begin to compile this little package for the old fox.
And I am sure he will drink to that.