I always feel the need to clear out a lot of mental and physical baggage at this time of year, but as I tend to procrastinate, I decided to enlist the help of my friend Mae.

“Hi Mae, are you any good at spring cleaning?” I asked my pal.

“My wardrobes need a major overhaul and I’m useless at doing these things on my own,” I pleaded.

“Sorry pal,” She explained.

“I did all of mine last week and took two bin bags of clothes to Vicky’s (her daughter),” she explained.

“But I hadn’t realised I had given her back the same stuff she’d cleared out of her wardrobes the year before and gave to me!”

Apparently Mae had had enough of spring cleaning so I called my daughter.

“Jenna, is there any chance you could give me a hand to clear out my wardrobes as I always feel so much better after I’ve had a good old clear out?”

“No bother mum,” she agreed.

“If it makes you feel better I’ll come round tomorrow and we’ll get stuck in.”

Next day Jenna appeared earlier than I had hoped with a giant roll of black bin bags under her arm.

“Right, let’s get started,” she ordered.

“How about a wee cup of tea first,” I offered.

“Mum, we have no time for tea,” she barked at me.

“You’ll get a cup when we’re finished.”

I had forgotten how regimented she could be when she set her mind to it.

Pulling items from my wardrobe one by one, a simple nod of her head or the rolling of her eyes signalled her approval or disapproval of my clothing.

That was, until she came to my favourite burgundy leather trousers which she held up for inspection.

“Leather trousers mum?” She scoffed.


And before I could answer.

“Do people still wear these?”

“Of course they do,” I nipped back at her.

“Leather never goes out of fashion.”

“Well fashion or no fashion,” she mocked.

“You’re too old for them.”

And as she rolled them up and tossed them into a bin bag, I wondered at what point I had suddenly become too old for my favourite trousers.

Next minute she pulled out my faithful black and white checked skirt.

“This must be like a pelmet on you,” she stated.

My daughter held the skirt up as she shook her head like an old school mistress whilst I protested.

“But, I’ve had that skirt for years and I can still squeeze in to it.”

“It’s not about whether it fits you or not mother.” She smirked.

“It’s about what you can get away with these days.”

And as she rolled up another precious item she added.

“And you definitely can’t get away with that pelmet of a skirt anymore.”

“Oh well,” I thought to myself.

“That’s me told.”

“It is time for a break yet?” I hoped she would give me a much needed reprieve from the mental torture and realisation that my life and my idea of fashion was outdated.

“Oh no.” She shook her head for the umpteenth time.

“We are on a roll here mum so let’s just carry on.”

And carry on she did.

“These must be almost four inches high.” She squawked as she dangled a pair of my beloved shiny shoes above her head.

“Yep.” I smiled proudly.

“And I can still walk in them.”

Although admittedly not very far these days.

“Mum these are what we call taxi shoes.”


“Shoes you can only wear if you get taxis everywhere.”

I had never heard that expression, but got the gist of what she was ranting on about.

“You shouldn’t risk breaking your neck on heels this high.”


“It’s dangerous at your age mum.”

And I wondered if she thought I intended to walk a tightrope with my four inch heels, which were now tossed into another bin bag.

Next minute her mobile rang.

“Thank goodness.” I thought to myself.

“I might now get a break.”

“Gemma.” She guffawed.

“I’m helping my mum clear out her wardrobes and it’s like a time warp in here.”

“The cheek of it.” I muttered.

“Honestly Gemma, she had burgundy leather trousers, a pelmet skirt, heels that you and I would struggle to walk on and….. “

Her mocking of my wardrobe was relentless.

“Even a denim shirt!”

“Do you feel better now you’ve finished your spring clean?” Mae called me later that evening.

“Feel better?” I rambled.

“Naw Mae, apparently I’m outdated, too old and too unstable for most of my wardrobe.”

Mae was silent.

“And…. I never imagined a denim shirt could conjure up such hilarity.”

But…… Unknown to Jenna, just before I dropped eight bin bags at the charity shop, somehow a pair of burgundy leather trousers fell out and I put them right back where they belonged.

For another wee while anyway!