The last quarter of the year was a total turnaround, and 2012 looks set to be on an upward curve. For two years I extolled, in these pages, the virtues of work. For a good portion of that time I considered this space as my workspace, and I gave it my full attention. Now somebody is paying me not just to do what I want to do for a living, but to be who I want to be. My first line of business was always the historian’s craft, and that’s where I’ve been the last few months. The next couple of years will require some serious writing on my part and I’m determined that it will be good.
The end of year involved the usual escape to
. It is still home, regardless of where I happen to be living. It’s even better to be home when you’re feeling good about who you are and where you’re going. The holiday has been packed with the kind of manly activities typical of the repertoire you’ve been used to reading about here: Handel’s Messiah at the new symphony hall – a carpenter’s wet dream if ever there was one; proper steaks at The Keg; being a good guest, and a good host; the new wing of the Musée des beaux-arts; and a number of visits to the best tailor in town. Montreal
On the latter score, I must give an extra nod in the direction of H. Padar on St. Catherine W. downtown. Mrs. VB is the proud owner of a new bespoke suit, readied from consultation to final delivery in one week. One week! Three pieces, navy blue super 120s merino. Truly remarkable. When you live in
Berlin and your tailor is in , you either have to be extremely organised and plan months ahead, or you have to rely on great service. H. Padar gives you the latter, in addition to an excellent cut. He doesn’t hit you too hard in the pocket either. While he was at it, he completely transformed a Simon Horsley tweed suit, given to me by my dear brother, which unfortunately hung from my slight bones like a marquee on a corpse. To cut and shut a fine suit is no easy thing, but I am delighted with the re-modelling. A good tailor knows another good tailor when he sees one, and I’m sure Mr. Horsley would be happy to hear one of his creations has been given a new twenty-year lease on life. Montreal
It’s wonderful to feel well fitted. That my friends, is how I feel, in my suits as in my life. BeingManly is, therefore, to rest easy, not to die. Occasionally it may stir, when inspiration compels, but I think on the whole it will slumber happily. It’s been a joy making so many acquaintances and not a few friends along the way. Long may our associations continue.
I leave you with this: be manly if you can, and if you can’t, at least be polite. Happy new year!