In 2008 I bought Treasure a red duffel coat. It was the first thing I bought in Venice and I spent four weeks angsting about whether she would like it or not.
After breakfast on the morning of my first proper day in Venice I walked from my hotel near the Academia to Campo Carmini to work out the exact location of my apartment before I dragged my bags there. It was on that walk that I spotted it in the window of a second-hand shop in the Campo Santa Barbara – a glorious red duffel coat. Just what she had told me she really wanted. I have learnt to cautious about rushing into purchasing clothing for her though because sometimes the wires get crossed and neither of us ends up happy. That is why I angsted. Along with the price which was a bit steep at 100 euros!
The vintage shop was a delightful treasure trove of stunning clothing all of which were far too small for me. The toy shop where I logged onto the internet was next door and every so often after I’d sent the emails, done the blog posts and spent time observing the toy buying habits of Venetian parents I would drop in and explore the clothes and try to talk with the shop owner who didn’t talk English and who thought my Italian was really Swahili.
Back to the red coat. For four weeks it sat in its carry bag near my suitcase mocking me despite Treasure telling me that she would indeed LOVE it.
Now this just isn’t any vintage red coat. This is a genuine (read the labels) red wool English duffle coat right out of the 1960’s. Made for the English or European climate it is no light weight. I had not factored this in when it came time to pack to leave Venice. There was no way the red coat was going to fit into my suitcase (not with the prayer rug I had bought already in Dubai). The solution was to carry it, like the valuable commodity it was. So that’s what I did – carried it all the way home.
Treasure did indeed LOVE it!
All the time at the back of my mind there was a niggling connection between a red duffel coat and the streets of Venice. Two years later after seeing Treasure woefully waiting for me on a dark railway station the pieces fell into place – a red duffel coat is pivotal to the 1973 movie ‘Don’t Look Now’.
This is a still from the final scene of “Don’t Look Now”. If you have never seen the movie, I am sorry for the spoiler. The movie is based on a novel by English writer Daphne Du Maurier who also wrote the classic ‘Rebecca’ which was also made into a movie.