by John Yeo

  This photograph was taken by Margaret on the allotment today. 

It was quite a windy day and I had dressed for the weather by donning layers. Beneath my padded red check shirt is a warm fleece that covers yet another cotton shirt.

I’m also wearing my favourite gardening hat. I’ve had this old hat for many years now and it’s become something of my allotment trade mark. It serves as protection from the sun and is certainly a good form of shelter from rainfall. A stranger looking at this photograph may see a scruffy working man or perhaps a traveller in search of somewhere to park the van.

 Looking at this picture through my eyes set me thinking of the way others see us. We all have ways of dressing that portray different images for different occasions.

For example when we are following a dress code, a formal outfit would look really out of place on the allotment asparagus beds. The old adage; ‘Never judge a book by its cover,’ makes a lot of sense when the story has many levels and many different situations that could serve as a picture to adorn the cover.

   Looking at the photograph again, it’s the surroundings that give the biggest clue. Supposing the surroundings were suddenly changed and the gardening clothes were seen out of context. Perhaps if I desperately needed something from town and I walked along the High Street, dressed as above. Shuffling along in my heavy gardening boots with my trusty hat, firmly jammed on my head, I could be summed up as an eccentric local yokel just off a farm, on an errand for the boss. 

  Of course the other side of the argument would be the logic behind wearing uniforms. In a hospital for example uniforms instantly identify the area where one works, or the level of the hierarchy where that job is located.

 Needless to say the well known uniforms of the forces, the police and some of the other emergency services provide instant recognition.

  The well known logic behind wearing school uniforms as a way of equalising the economic backgrounds of the pupils is another case in point.

   Going back to the allotment uniform, I remember a well-to-do lady who wore a tatty, branded Barbour coat, day-in-day-out on her allotment until it nearly fell off her shoulders. Eventually when the smiles got obvious and the grins got broader, our lady went out and bought herself a new coat. Sadly not a Barbour, and with this new look she almost became a different person in the eyes of her fellow allotmenteers.

Love ♥️ and Peace ☮️ to all from John and Margaret

© Written by John Yeo all rights reserved.