It was a hot day in September 2006. My mum (Gill) and I were shopping in Carlisle and were searching for a hideous nightie for her to wear onstage. I wasn't looking for anything in particular. However, I had said to myself in Stirling that once I had a well paid job in Carlisle I would treat myself to a posh winter coat, for around £100, as my current one had gone bobbly even though it was worth £70 from Topshop. I bought it the sales for £30 though.
We went into Age Concern on Botchergate and there were several ladies winter coats on the rack, all in pretty decent nick. I looked at the tag of one that was a lovely gray - size M, £2.75. I couldn't believe how cheap it was, I would be perfectly willing to pay £10 or more for a winter coat in a charity shop.
I took the coat down from the hanger and it was so heavy! I didn't really want to try it on as it was so hot but the thought of a bargain spurred me on. It was only when I came to put it on that I realised how much of a bargain it was - the coat was like new and sported an Aquascutum label inside. I showed my mum with glee and we could hardly believe the good fortune.
The coat fits me like it was made for me. It is the warmest coat I have ever owned. So I did get to treat myself to an expensive winter coat that year, only it cost me just £2.75! I am not sure exactly how much it's worth but I reckon that a second hand Aquascutum coat could probably set you back about £400! So it just shows that you should always keep an eye out in your local charity shop.
The coat pictured above is almost identical to mine, except mine is not tweed, just plain grey. People have asked me if I'm going to sell it on eBay to make a profit. I have to admit that the idea is a little tempting but I love my coat too much; I may never sell it and keep it as a family heirloom.
Besides I love looking like a KGB agent.