Gyles Brandreth, whilst on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, in the most splendidly English accent, eloquently articulated an anecdote from his first day in the House of Commons.
“John Prescott clocked me, lent forward and muttered “woolly jumper .. hahaha”. I was thrown. He kept this up, and eventually I had to point out to Mr Prescott that the joy of a woolly jumper is that you can take it off at will, whereas the blight of a woolly mind is that you’re lumbered with it for life.”
At first, I found this quote to be extremely amusing and a slight insight into the jovial and witty elements of parliament. It was a glimpse into an area that I had always assumed to be solely intimidating, sombre and austere, and it was refreshing for these unfounded presumptions to be rendered incorrect.
As my day continued, the Desert Island Disc’s podcast was but a hazy memory. I could no longer remember Gyles Brandreth’s song choices or the names of his apparently completely marvellous children. I could, however, recall with clarity his words regarding the woolly jumper. They had a profound effect on me, providing me with new emotional strength and also acceptance of who I am today. This newfound strength must also be partially attributed to the clamorous cohort who invaded my bedroom, and provided a wonderful evening of distraction last night.
Today I am wearing a woolly jumper, and it is itchy, ugly and tight. However in one week, at precisely this time, I will be undergoing my operation, and this painful woolly jumper will be removed, and hopefully it will never be worn again. I am permitting myself the arrogance to express that I may be enduring a woolly jumper, but at least I am not enduring "the blight of a woolly mind".