Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Topi Not Toupee

I answer the door in one of my topis. Stefka, our Bulgarian carer, asks if it's Jewish. "No," I say, "Turkish." "Are you Turkish?" she asks. "No," I say, "I just wear it to keep my head warm."

Among our family heirlooms is a topi- described as a smoking cap- embroidered by my great-grandmother sometime in the late 19th century when such things were fashionable. Every so often we take it out of its tissue paper and admire it. I wore it once for an hour or two- but it's in something like pristine condition and I don't wan't to degrade it- so it went back into its tissue paper, in its box, in its drawer.

Talking about Victorian fashions there's an article in one of the papers about great men and their beards. Darwin grew his to cover a bad case of excema and Tennyson grew his to hide the lamentable state of his teeth.

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