This item of clothing makes me look like I have lost 10 pounds | BBC Radio Solent's Alun Newman
When I was growing up, during the summer months, my grandad and gran would often stay with my family – sometimes for several weeks at a time.
They would seamlessly blend in with the wider family life.
It was always fun having them stay with the main attraction being by gran.
As an ex-Eastender and London girl, she would often be quite rude to my dad.
Never in a mean way but language like that was rarely heard in my family (unless dad was looking for a parking space or putting up a super heavyweight 1970s’ canvas tent).
Gran would seem to live in the kitchen. She was always peeling something or drinking tea.
My grandad was a quiet and gentle ex-army man and used to secretly smoke on the back doorstep.
He became a barber and was the only person on planet Earth who could cut my brother’s hair without him crying or being sick.
The skill was in the lightning speed and terrifying sharpness of the electric clippers.
The sheep were shorn before the sheep knew anything about it.
Grandad also made sure we always had shiny shoes for school. They were waiting on a piece of newspaper every morning.
We were always appreciative and polite and then did everything possible to scuff them up on the way to get the bus. Shiny shoes equalled a nightmare school day.
Grandad also always wore a white vest, even in the summer under his shirt and tie.
It was a crisp, clean, well-fitting, white vest.
I couldn’t really understand the benefit.
At the time, my reasoning was it’s simply something grandads of that age do.
However, that’s now all changed.
During the recent cold snap, I have discovered tight-fitting, breathable (isn’t most clothing... even cling-film is porous to a certain degree), vests.
These are the new, modern equivalent of the white, sleeveless vests found in the 1970s and worn by my grandad.
I found this new piece of clothing in a drawer.
I think it was originally bought for my son when he was doing his Duke of Edinburgh award. We were worried he’d get cold but he refused to wear it.
It’s primarily made of a super-stretchy Lycra material, worn under a T-shirt.
It keeps you warm but the major plus side is you feel like the muscular superhero, Ironman.
If you haven’t tried one, please give it a go.
You feel like someone who’s done a mega workout without ever having to do a mega workout.
You feel great even if you’re simply sitting down eating chips watching Bargain Hunt.
It’s essentially a support vest and now I see the attraction.
I shouldn’t feel the need to justify myself.
I should simply be body confident.
However, it’s important to let you know I’ve never worn support undergarments (not judging).
But now I can see the appeal.
I used to think it bordered on misrepresentation.
Everything pulled together using Lycra could be seen as a slightly fraudulent body demonstration. Eventually, you have to unwrap.
But now I can see that it’s about how you feel.
That zipped-up feeling that only miracle stretchy fabric can bring.
If you’re feeling like you’re carrying a few Covid-kilos and you need a boost, this could be the answer.
Sure, you can cut out carbs, start doing squats and have cold showers.
That all takes time and dedication.
Why wait to feel great?
The support undergarments provide instant satisfaction.
I can’t believe I’ve written that but it’s true!
Uncool is the new cool
Did you ever own a car that wasn’t cool in any way but now it’s worth loads of money?
There have always been cars that were great and seemed to have gone from strength to strength.
From Jaguars to MGBs and Ford Cosworths to Triumphs, they always held some allure. They were often the cars that the rich, cool and trendy bought when they were new.
However the world is a fickle place.
Just like when we threw away vinyls, they’re now making a comeback. And CDs are seeing an increase in demand.
But how about a 1979 Ford Escort?
It’s in great condition with nearly 60,000 miles on the clock, in Stratos Silver (grey) and it’s up for auction and causing a stir.
It’s nothing fancy but it’s guide price is £15,000.
It’s just like all the others and that’s just it. All the others have disappeared.
They’ve been melted down into fridges and iPhones. What was once everywhere is now nowhere and the price is going skywards.
Other cars are also seeing a boom. Original, great shape, Renault 5s are in demand. Don’t even get me started about the Cortina. Forget the Mark1, they’re mega-money now. The Mark2 is on the rise.
Who would have thought that these uncool, unwanted, family workhorses are now collector's items?
What was once uncool is now becoming cool.
But some refuse to ever become cool. Sadly, some cars are yet to catch the collector's eye.
They will though, mark my words!